On February 28th I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Clovis Police HQ and then participate in a ninety minute ride along with Corporal Shannon Griffith. My tour was conducted by Ty Wood, the Public Information Officer. He also set up my ride along with Cpl. Griffith.
This encounter began with the tour. We started in the Lobby of the shared Headquarters of the Clovis Police Department and Fire Department. I was taken through to the Police side after admiring the historical image display of Clovis Police officers who have served in years past.
As we walked, Officer Wood explained each department and the special services and responsibilities unique to them. I was able to see the interview rooms for victims as well as the booking area for arrested individuals. We visited the dispatch area and Officer Wood explained how Clovis City implemented cameras to help dispatch give information during calls for service.
This camera system is maintained by city employees full time, rather than a company contractor, something Officer Wood mentioned is less common.
At the end of the tour I met with Corporal Griffith and she introduced herself. Corporal Griffith has been in law enforcement for twenty-five years. At first she worked in dispatch before attending the police academy where she then joined Clovis PD. She has been in multiple positions through her time with the department. As of current, Corporal Griffith is on patrol as well as being a training supervisor.
Out on the ride along I was able to witness Griffith in action during a call for service. A minor traffic collision occurred without injuries. She and a fellow officer assisted the two drivers in exchanging information. As she drove we chatted about her work and how she became a sworn officer. “I am a student of the human story. I do this job so that people feel heard who might not otherwise feel like they get that consideration.” Griffith said of her desire that drives her each day to be in Law enforcement. “I have to say that the little stuff is what makes this job worth it. To see the light come back in someone’s eyes, it makes the hard things bearable.”
Corporal Griffith explained the patrols are designed to be proactive. They try to stop crimes before they happen or can progress into violence.
“Really, the biggest thing is knowing when and how to use force. Our last choice should always be physical force and when we must use it, we are constantly reevaluating. Is this amount needed? Are we able to pull back? These questions are in our minds each and every encounter we have where physical force is used. We are trained to use the minimum force required when we have to get hands on with an individual.” She spoke of her training and how it is implemented. “Law enforcement is reactionary. We tailor our response to the actions of others. We respond to the emotional state of a person and try to deescalate the situation. We won’t always be able to, but the main goal is to protect life and property in every call for service. We have to constantly reevaluate the situation as it changes. Asking ourselves, do we enforce or protect? Are we here to listen to someone or arrest them?” Griffith further elaborated.
Employees of the Year as pictured above.
Police Officer: Police Corporal Jim Ellenberger
Dispatcher: Lead Public Safety Dispatcher John Sai
Professional Staff: Community Service Officer (CSO) Shawn Knapp
Part-Time Professional Staff: Chaplain Deanna May
Reserve Officer: Sylvia Gee
Volunteer: Larry Monfort
Upon return to the station I was given some information on Clovis Police Department’s Community programs. You can find links below.
Community Watch- https://cityofclovis.com/police/police-services/crime-prevention/
For those interested in joining Clovis PD click here
Academy Prep PT Program: It’s free. Mornings during the week and weekend for those in the academy currently, enrolled with a start date), or interested. For more information and to sign-up, contact (559) 593-5327, or (805) 975-6069.
The Clovis PD is there to support and protect the community it serves. The officers and staff are all competent and care deeply for the city of Clovis.
As always, stay safe and have fun,