Special Section – Influential Women Leading the Way in Charlotte 8

By Ryan Kouame

Sherie Pearsall

Deputy Chief of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Photo courtesy of Sherie Pearsall

Hometown hero Sherie Pearsall is the deputy chief of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). In her role as deputy chief of Administrative Services, Pearsall’s responsibility is to oversee the CMPD Academy where new officers begin their careers and tenured officers continue their education. Pearsall is the daughter of a preacher in Charlotte’s Greenville community where she has served for the past 27 years.

Pearsall graduated from East Mecklenburg High School. She then went on to be the first in her immediate family to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in history from Livingstone College. Service was an expectation in Pearsall’s family as she saw her parents give themselves unselfishly, so she adopted the same morals in her own life. Pearsall knew that the values ingrained in her at an early age would be the foundation of her work, but her plans didn’t include becoming a police officer after graduating from college. She earned her master’s degree in business administration and planned to become an attorney, but money was tight, so she changed her plans.

“I’d never interacted with the police before,” said Pearsall. “We feared our mother more than the police, so we didn’t get in trouble, but there were a lot of challenged areas in the communities I grew up in.”

Pearsall joined CMPD and decided she wanted to make a positive impact in the community. No matter the demands of the job or the day, Pearsall is determined to remember why she chose her profession. She also encourages others to do the same.

“I always go back to my why,” she says. “What we do is beyond law enforcement – the kids on the basketball court, the seniors you have tea with on the porch, and the calls for service where you have the opportunity to change the outcome. It brings it all back into perspective that you are here to serve the greater good.”

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