Bluefield University in the News

Bluefield University Alumnus Michael Poindexter Named Roanoke County Police Chief

by | Mar 20, 2023

With the start of the year, BU alumnus Michael Poindexter began serving as Roanoke County’s new Police Chief. Poindexter has served in various roles at the Roanoke County Police Department over the past twenty-eight years, completing a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at Bluefield University during that time.

“Chief Poindexter truly exemplifies the overall goal of the School of Criminal Justice at Bluefield University: to serve those who serve our communities by providing a personalized pathway to degree completion for all students, traditional and online. We are delighted to have been a part of his educational journey and congratulate him for attaining this leadership position!” said Dr. Kimberly Farmer, dean of BU’s School of Criminal Justice.

A member of BU’s class of 2011, Chief Poindexter is a former Police Commander, Police Sergeant, and Police Officer for Roanoke County. Prior to becoming Police Chief, he was named Assistant Chief of Police in April 2022. In this supervisory position, he oversaw the Roanoke County Criminal Justice Academy, Services Division, Crime Prevention Office, and Professional Standards Unit.

The Roanoke County Police Department, now consisting of 166 members, was formed in 1990. After a nationwide search, Poindexter was selected to serve as the department’s fourth chief and first Black chief because of his ideas to enhance the department, County Administrator Richard Caywood told The Roanoke Times.

“Mike’s dedication and years of experience in the Roanoke Valley coupled with his education, leadership, and growth within the department were impressive,” Caywood also shared in a press release announcing the decision.

The Poindexter family is known for being involved in the Roanoke Valley community. Michael is the son of Richard Poindexter, a local public school teacher and principal, and JoAnne Poindexter, a journalist for The Roanoke Times. He also has relatives in the public safety industry and “always felt the need to be a part of the community,” he told WFXR News.

A true servant leader, Chief Poindexter wants his department to interact with the community daily and show the public that the officers are there to help, he also shared.

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