Doug Niemeier could throw a baseball. That got him into college with a full-ride scholarship.
But pitchers have to hit their mark, and after college, Niemeier wasn’t quite sure where to aim. He had studied criminal justice because his neighbor was a KCPD officer. Still, he applied to be a firefighter and an officer. Then he waited and waited and waited (more than a year) before the phone rang.
It was KCPD. The fire department called six weeks later, but Niemeier had made a commitment. That was 1995, and Niemeier did the one thing he knew.
“I put my head down, and I worked,” Niemeier said. “I wouldn’t get outworked. There were long hours and sacrifices along the way.”
Eventually, Niemeier became a homicide detective and then a sergeant. Here alone, he worked more than 1,300 death investigations and handled some of the most notorious crimes in Kansas City history.
Niemeier rose through the ranks, always finding himself back at East Patrol where he had history. As a child, his first home was at Independence and Hardesty Avenues before his family moved near Ruskin and then to the Gracemor area.
At East Patrol, Niemeier served as an officer, a sergeant, a captain, and a major. He was the major there when Officer Tyler Moss was shot and nearly killed in 2020.
“How do you manage and help the other 177 officers that are there?” Niemeier asked. “In 2020 and with COVID, we did it as a team at East Patrol.”
Niemeier was promoted to Deputy Chief of the Executive Services Bureau in 2021. In his time there, he helped secure salary adjustments for KCPD employees. He also oversaw the move to reclassify more than 400 employees so that they could earn more pay.
Chief Stacey Graves began leading the department in December of 2022 and appointed Niemeier to Deputy Chief of the Administration Bureau. In addition to other divisions and the crime lab, the Administration Bureau will now house Human Resources and the police academy.
Niemeier says it is beneficial to have them together under the same command staff. KCPD, similar to police departments across the country, currently faces a shortage of police officers. Yet, the standard to become one remains high.
“The expectation is that you have to know the law, you’re going to go to 911 calls and have conflict resolution,” Niemeier pointed out. “You have to be able to talk to people, provide basic medical services, and CPR. It takes a special kind of person to do this. It’s not for everybody. The hiring process is important because you don’t want to spend seven months training someone before they decide it’s not for me.”
For those who are police officers, Niemeier shares a proud bond of service. It’s one that helped him raise his two daughters.
“It’s been a whirlwind raising two daughters, and I wouldn’t change anything,” Niemeier said. “They’ve had a good life. They were raised and provided for. This job has done nothing but give, give, give to us.”