OFFICER MIKE GRISHAM: PROTECTOR OF THE COMMUNITY
By Joycelyne Fadojutimi
Name: Mike Grisham
Education: Associates degree from Kilgore College.
Hometown: Silsbee, Texas.
Prior job experience if any: I had no experience before being employed by Longview Police Department.
How do you feel when you put on your uniform each day? I feel proud when I put my uniform on each day. I realize that the uniform represents so much and so many people. I also realize that by wearing the uniform, I am tasked with representing the City of Longview and must represent it in a fair and impartial way.
People don’t often understand how hard police officers work to keep citizens safe. What inspired, you to become a protector of the community and can you tell us of any daily risks you’ve seen or experienced? Just after I graduated from High School, I was able to get into a ride along program with Silsbee PD and Hardin County Sheriff’s Office. This experience really helped me understand the importance of law enforcement and gave me insight on the officers behind the badge. The officers really enjoyed serving their communities.
Almost every call comes with some risk. The unknown is what keeps every officer on their toes. In accident investigation, you always have the chance of encountering biohazards. The division I am in, investigates hundreds of accidents a month, so the biohazard issue is something that’s always on my mind. In some cases, you may not have a choice when you’re dealing with it.
What is a misconception you have seen that the public have about the police officers? Most misconceptions arise from television. Things like major incidents that are always resolved within a few hours. On crime scenes, the detectives or Crime Scene personnel work the scene and instantly get suspects. It’s just not that easy.
As a police officer, what do you want your legacy to be? When I retire, I want people to remember me as an officer that made efforts to treat all people fairly, with integrity and brought honor to my profession. I want those who I worked with to remember me as someone they could count on.
What was one of your toughest days on the job. I’m not sure I have had a toughest day, but several days have been tough. On many of the fatalities that I have worked, the notification of family is really tough. There is not a good way of telling anyone that a family member has passed away. It hurts to see the pain in their face.
How does your family feel about you being a police officer? My family has always been supportive of my profession. My wife actually has a degree in Criminal Justice from UT-Tyler. She has been a big influence in helping me see things from different perspectives, and not just from a police officer’s view. Both my children have also been supportive of my profession, but thank goodness, they picked other career fields.
Police officers work long hours and the work is very stressful, how do you like to relax? In my spare time, I love to ride motorcycles and camp in our RV. My dad bought me my first motorcycle when I was 7 years old and I have been hooked since then. My wife and I ride with a group of people who have similar interests as we do, which makes it a blast. We have ridden to Sturgis and in June, we traveled to North Carolina. There is nothing more relaxing to me that riding motorcycles. You can’t beat wind therapy. I also have just gotten into RVing. My RV is a toy hauler so I can bring my motorcycle when we go places. After retirement, I plan on spending a lot of time traveling and riding.
If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to spend more time with your parents and relatives. So many have passed away and I really miss them.
In a time when pop culture encourages not co-operating with police officers, can you expand on the dangers this causes? I still don’t get why cooperating with police officers is seen as a bad thing. When you have friends or relatives that are victims of a crime, you should feel obligated to tell officers what you know. You owe it to the victims, they need your voice. Even if the victim is not a relative, put yourself in their families’ position, wouldn’t you want someone to help your family out.
As a protector of the community and symbol of justice how can we as a community better support the Police? We are so fortunate in Longview. We have so much support from our community. I am thankful every day that I work in this city. The department has worked so hard in trying to have a good relationship with our citizens and I feel that that is paying off.
Do police officers really like donuts? Who doesn’t like donuts. It’s funny, most officers won’t eat at a donut shop because of the stereotype.
Do you think the Cowboys have a shot at the Super Bowl this year and why? The Cowboys always have a chance to win the Super Bowl. This year, Dak and Zeke will carry them all the way!.