First person: Community cop

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Daron Roach is the Clovis Police Department’s new community relations officer. The Clovis native has been with the department since 2006.

Officer Daron Roach has spent a lifetime getting to know Clovis. Now he’s trying to do the same on behalf of the Clovis Police Department.

Roach is in his third week as the department’s community relations officer. He handles many informational sessions, creates programs to foster community involvement and runs Code Blue, a program that allows citizens to perform ride-alongs with officers in their own vehicles.

History: I was born and raised right here in Clovis. I moved off a couple of times, always came back home. Married a local girl, she was born and raised here. Stayed here ever since. Lots of family here, we like it here. I know most everybody here, for the most part.

I have been with the CPD since June of 2006. I came from a trucking background. I drove a truck on my own for years. I enjoyed interaction with people. I always wanted to be an officer. I went to work at the sheriff’s office first. I was there about a year, then I came over here.

Job: I’ve been in traffic for almost four years riding one of the motorcycles. This came in, and I decided to put in for it because I like interaction with people, and this would be the position for that.

I can still make traffic stops, still go on calls. But my main focus is the community. That includes citizens and businesses, schools. I’m the part-time resource officer, kind of the backup. What that means is the current school resource officer is going to deal with the enforcement, and I’m going to deal with education side. We have tons of programs we put on for kids.

Things I talk about: Cyber-bullying, dangerous drugs, sexting. It gets more and more (challenging) all the time. I have a 15-year-old who does umpteen-jillion text messages. Parents really have to watch, and ask their kids, get involved with their kids and what they do.

There’s a lot of bullying going on, and that’s been going on forever. That’s the political way of saying harassment and assault. There are videos on YouTube right here in Clovis, about Clovis kids fighting. I would like to take a step to get that under control. I was one of the bigger kids. I never did get bullied when I was a kid, but I didn’t bully. I’m sure if anybody reads that that went to school with me, they might disagree (laughs), but I wasn’t a bully.

This year, we’re going to continue Shop With a Cop. We’re going to continue with our two citizens academies we do every year. We’ll continue to be involved in July 4’s Smoke on the Water. National Night Out is the first Tuesday of August.

We’re going to do the first Cops and Kids basketball. We’re focusing on 6- to 13-year-old children. We’re aiming for 100 kids, we’ve got a gym donated to us. And all the kids are going to get a T-shirt, a trophy and a goodie bag, and they’re going to get a 10-minute game with the officers. It’s no charge. It’s just an opportunity for kids to do something with us.

Top goal: Get the Clovis Police Department and area agencies more involved with the community, and get the community more involved with us. As population increases, so does crime. We can’t do it alone; we’ve got to have citizens’ help. The more we can get them involved, the less crime there’s going to be.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Wilson