sheriffcarpenterI grew up in the Long Shoals community the youngest son of Martin Paul and Joy Carpenter. I have 2 older siblings- Terry and Steve who, along with my dad, have been involved in the electrical contracting and security business since dad started our family- owned business in 1979. Success over the years has led Terry to continue with his own electrical business and Steve to continue with the security system business.

Early on, I knew my heart was in the law enforcement field. As a young teen, I was introduced to the work of a police officer by a close family friend. At the time, Terry Burgin, a young police Detective, would allow me to ride along with him on the weekends while he worked the streets of the City of Lincolnton. After spending many weekends one summer, I knew law enforcement was my future.

While a senior at West Lincoln High School, I was afforded the opportunity to work in the Emergency Communications Center as a 911 telecommunicator. I worked part-time until a full-time job became available a little over a year after I graduated from West Lincoln. During this time, I had also married my high school sweetheart, Edie Richard. We had one daughter, Crystal.

I continued to work as a telecommunicator in the Communications Center until April of 1987, when Sheriff Harven Crouse offered me the opportunity to work as a road patrol deputy. I accepted the offer and patrolled the many communities of our great county. Sheriff Crouse retired in July of 1989 and I was re-sworn under the leadership of Sheriff Joe Kiser.

In December of 1989, Sheriff Kiser promoted me to rank of detective. The first 6 months, I worked general investigations such as murders, sexual assaults, robberies, and home property crimes. I was then transferred to work as a detective assigned to narcotics and drug investigations. I continued working in this capacity and, in July of 1992, was promoted to detective sergeant. During my time as a drug investigator, I initiated over 300 individual drug cases and seized hundreds of pounds of marihuana (marijuana) and kilograms of cocaine from the streets of Lincoln County. I was also trained by the DEA on how to spot marihuana (marijuana) by the use of aircraft. I spent numerous hours in fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft eradicating hundreds of plants of marihuana (marijuana) being grown in the rural areas of our county.

Sheriff Kiser retired in December of 1994 and I was re-sworn under the leadership of Barbara Pickens. In May of 1995, Sheriff Pickens promoted me to Lieutenant of Operations. This promotion entailed the implementation of the Community Policing Philosophy as a departmental concept. Through the aid of federal grant monies, we implemented a community policing team of officers to work closely with each of our communities. This team also consisted of the use of bike patrol officers in close knit communities and at special events. We enhanced and strengthened our crime prevention efforts countywide, revitalizing community watch groups and instituting the first ever R-U-Ok calling program for our senior citizens. I was able to utilize existing county funds to implement our first ever full-time Lake Patrol for Lake Norman and Mountain Island Lakes. We added classes and enhanced our existing DARE Program for fifth graders.

In 1997, I was involved in the implementation of the first ever School Resource Officer program for the Lincoln County School system. A sworn deputy sheriff was added to each of the existing high schools to work closely with our school administrators to ensure a safe school environment. I was also responsible for the security of our DCI terminals and served as Terminal Agency Coordinator for the agency and supervised our front office staff.

In 2001, I transferred back to the road patrol as one of only two lieutenants. I worked a shift rotation responsible for 2 crews of men and women patrolling the roads of the entire county. Due to increased call volume and a need for closer community relationships, we implemented the district concept of policing. The county was divided into 3 separate patrol districts and I was assigned to the Baker (or central district) of the county. I was responsible for all areas of law enforcement for the district, including investigations and civil and criminal process.

In 2003 Sheriff Pickens allowed me the opportunity to attend the Law Enforcement Executive Program offered through NC State University. This involved 6 months of in depth case study into the development and reorganization of a troubled police agency. In April of 2004, I, along with a class of 23, successfully completed this study and graduated. The knowledge gained from this course of study greatly assisted me in leading the men and women of my district.

In late 2006, I left the Sheriff’s Office and was hired by the NC Department of Corrections as an Intensive Probation/Parole Surveillance Officer. During that time I was responsible for working closely with Intensive Case Officers and assisting them with their caseload of offenders they supervised. Additionally, I carried a caseload of probation absconders that fled from probation/parole and remained fugitives until apprehended. I also continued as a sworn police officer with the City of Lincolnton Police Department, working in a part-time or reserve status. In November of 2010 I was elected your Sheriff and was sworn in on December 6, 2010. It is with great pleasure I serve you, the citizens of Lincoln County.

In closing, I attest to you the citizens of Lincoln County, of my thorough knowledge of the working components of our Sheriff’s Office. It is my strong desire to partner with the men and women who proudly serve us now, and build an agency that all citizens will be proud of for the coming decade. So I ask of you to please partner with me as we begin this great work!


Sheriff David M. Carpenter

Welcome to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Website

The mission of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is to form a partnership with the citizens of Lincoln County. Our goal is to understand and serve the needs of the citizens of our county, to improve the quality of life, to develop a good working relationship with our citizens, to maintain order, help to solve problems, and apprehend criminals in a manner consistent with the law.  All our citizens will be treated with courtesy and respect and we will work with them to address our overall mission of protecting life and property and preventing crime so that they may enjoy a better quality of life.