Dowell sets example for youth, community
Lt. Melvin Dowell of the Union City Police Department is a well-known and beloved figure in the community, particularly among children and youth.
First hired as a patrolman for the Union City Police Department in 1980, he completed his training at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in Donelson and then applied his knowledge and ability to rise through the local ranks to patrolman first class, sergeant and then to his current position as lieutenant.
In his work, Dowell is the supervisor of patrol operations for the department. His duties demand that he exercise considerable independent judgment while working within the rules and procedures that are required.
Dowell’s relationship with the city’s youngest citizens stems from his work for 10 years, up until 2005, as the DARE officer. His was a name and face children at Union City schools came to associate with a caring nature and a commitment to their well-being.
A 1975 graduate of Brighton High School, he attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, in addition to the classroom work he has done while serving as an officer.
He enjoys reading, listening to jazz and cooking special dishes for his family, which includes his wife, the former Sherry King; his children, Amanda Dowell and Yolanda Dowell; and his stepchildren, Ryan Atkins, Maressa Atkins and Brad Atkins. He also has seven grandchildren to brighten his life and keep him involved with young people.
Dowell is the son of Addie Dowell of Brighton and the late Joe Dowell.
In his spare time, the police lieutenant also referees basketball games and was one of the original sponsors of the Greg Davis Basketball Tournament series.
Editor’s note: Several prominent local citizens and others who have strong family ties with this community have been asked to write brief stories or provide details about their educational history and their challenges and successes so that the young people in this area may be encouraged to work hard in school and become respected, contributing members of society as well. This effort is part of the celebration of Black History Month in February. Published in The Messenger 2.25.08