David McIntyre doesn’t stop moving.
Armed with a Monster Energy drink and an infectious drive, the Circleville police officer carried foldable traffic cones in one hand and internet-safety pamphlets in the other while setting up his station for Circleville’s annual Touch a Truck event. The event is an opportunity for the community to get to know their emergency responders, either by climbing aboard fire engines, shaking hands with the sheriff or chatting with McIntyre about what local police officers do.
In the back of McIntyre’s police-issued Ford Explorer, there are folding tables sandwiched between first-aid kits, rolls of stickers on top of a fire extinguisher and two cases of water, just to be prepared.
“I used to be a Boy Scout,” he offered with a smile.
McIntyre, 39, wears a lot of hats. He’s a safety resource officer for Circleville City Schools, but acts more as a guidance counselor, disciplinarian and father figure. He still works regular shifts at the police department and found time last year to start Foundations4Youth, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to giving kids a place to relax and be happy.
Every Tuesday all year long, McIntyre can be found helping feed anywhere from 60 to 120 kids at the Foundations4Youth center.
Carrie Carver, Circleville schools parent-teacher organization president, works with McIntyre to organize events and solicit donations and volunteers. “Without Dave, we wouldn’t have the center,” said Carver, 40. “He saves lives, and I don’t think anyone has a bad word to say about him.”
When her 9-year-old son, Andrew, who is in middle school, finally left the hospital after battling lung issues last December, McIntyre set up the Carvers’ Christmas tree and arranged for the SWAT team to visit Andrew at home.
McIntyre teaches internet safety classes for kindergarten through eighth grade, acts as a liaison between the courts and kids in probation and still finds the time to run the Circleville police and Foundations4Youth social media accounts on top of his daily patrol at school.
“When I think of Dave, I see him with over 100 students—feeding 5-year-olds, talking to the seventh-grade girls and playing football with high-schoolers,” said Circleville schools superintendent Jonathan Davis.
Not many people know McIntyre is also a father of three: Kiley, 16; Luke, 14; and Natalie, 11. He’s a single dad and tries his best to juggle his commitment to the community and his kids, but it’s no easy feat.
“I’m not very good at saying no,” McIntyre admitted.
He tries not to bring work home, but his kids do help out at Foundations4Youth.
“They’re volun-told,” he explained with a laugh.
During a recent lunch, McIntyre tried to point to the 80 voicemails and 300-plus unanswered emails in his inbox as evidence that he’s far from worthy of all this praise. But he was hardly able to finish his point before a delivery man interrupted McIntyre to thank the officer for everything he does for the community.
“No one cares more, man,” he told McIntyre. “Thank you.”
McIntyre brushed the compliment aside with a shy smile.
In his mind it all comes down to the basic principles you learn in kindergarten: don’t steal, be kind and treat others with respect.
McIntyre grew up in Circleville and was raised by a single mom who sent him to live on his grandparents’ farm as a teen so he would “stay out of trouble.” He studied agriculture management at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, but became a cop 14 years ago because he couldn’t sit with the idea that so many people felt entitled to take advantage of others.
Three years ago, McIntyre found his calling as a safety resource officer working with kids, making sure they understand that life’s hardships are only a single moment.
“The situation you’re in now isn’t the situation you’ll always be in,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement, there’s always room for growth and change.”