Doug Niemeier could throw a baseball. This got him to college on a full scholarship.
But pitchers have to hit the mark, and after college, Niemeier wasn’t sure where to aim. He had studied criminal justice because his neighbor was a KCPD officer. However, he applied to be a firefighter and an officer. Then he waited and waited and waited (over a year) before the phone rang.
It was KCPD. The fire department called six weeks later, but Niemeier had made a commitment. It was 1995 and Niemeier did the only thing he knew.
“I put my head down and worked,” Niemeier said. “I wouldn’t overwork myself. There have been long hours and sacrifices along the way.
Eventually, Niemeier became a homicide detective and then a sergeant. Here alone, he has worked on more than 1,300 death investigations and handled some of the most notorious crimes in Kansas City history.
Niemeier rose through the ranks, always ending up at East Patrol, where he had a history. As a child, his first home was on Independence and Hardesty Avenues before his family moved to near Ruskin and then to the Gracemor area.
At East Patrol, Niemeier served as an officer, sergeant, captain and 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 who are there?” asked Niemeier. “In 2020 and with COVID, we did it as a team at East Patrol.”
Niemeier was promoted to Deputy Chief of Executive Services Office in 2021. During his time there, he helped secure salary adjustments for KCPD employees. He also oversaw the move to retrain more than 400 employees so they could earn more.
Chief Stacey Graves began leading the department in December of 2022 and named Niemeier deputy chief of the administrative office. In addition to other divisions and the Crime Lab, the Administration Office will now house Human Resources and the Police Academy.
Niemeier says it’s beneficial to have them together under the same command staff. The KCPD, similar to police departments across the country, currently faces a shortage of police officers. However, the standard for becoming one remains high.
“The expectation is that you have to know the law, go to emergency calls and resolve conflicts,” Niemeier stressed. “You have to be able to talk to people, provide basic medical services and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It takes a special kind of person to do this. It’s not for everyone. The hiring process is important because you don’t want to spend seven months training someone before they decide they’re not for me.
For those who are police officers, Niemeier shares a proud bond of service. It’s what helped him raise his two daughters.
“It was a whirlwind raising two daughters and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Niemeier said. “They had a good life. They were raised and provided. This job has done nothing but give us, give us, give us.”