Tony Lowdermilk was sworn in as Interim Chief of Morganton Public Safety during a ceremony at Morganton City Hall Friday, January 31. Lowdermilk was promoted to Interim Chief from the rank of Major of Support Services.
Lowdermilk was born and raised in Morganton, and graduated from Freedom High School. He received his Associate’s Degree in Applied Science and Criminal Justice Technology from Western Piedmont Community College and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Lees McRae College. He said he is looking forward to serving as Interim Chief of Morganton Public Safety, and feels well prepared for the role.
“It is an honor to be selected to serve as interim-chief,” Lowdermilk said. “I always had an interest in police work and firefighting, and Morganton Public Safety does both, which is what drove me to join the department here after my schooling. Going from first serving as a Public Safety Officer to now serving as Interim-Chief is a dream come true. I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Morganton, and hope to meet and exceed their expectations during my tenure.”
Lowdermilk has served Morganton for more than 25 years, signing on with Public Safety as a Public Safety Officer in 1994. He was promoted to Sergeant of Field Operations in 2000, before becoming Captain of Field Operations in 2008. Lowdermilk was then promoted to Major of Support Services in 2015. He then served as Major of Field Operations from 2016 to 2018, before being switched back to Major of Support Services. Lowdermilk holds his Firefighter Level I and II certifications, Advanced Law Enforcement certification, and several levels of Incident Command certifications.
Lowdermilk has also served as a Field Training Officer, a member of the Special Emergency Response Team, a K-9 Supervisor and Field Training Coordinator while with Morganton Public Safety. He has completed Administrative Officer management training at N.C. State University, First Line Supervision Training at the N.C. Justice Academy, hundreds of hours of in-service training and graduated from the Leadership Burke program in 2014.
City Manager Sally Sandy said Lowdermilk was a natural successor to Rector to serve as interim chief.
“Tony is well-qualified for this position, and we are sure he will serve the citizens of Morganton with integrity,” Sandy said. “He has spent his entire career with Morganton Public Safety, and we are looking forward to him leading his hometown Public Safety department.”
Tony Lowdermilk was sworn in as Interim Chief by Recording Secretary Kelly Russell, left, with his mother, Patricia, and niece, Brooklyn.