CAMANCHE — Former Camanche Police Chief Colin Reid retired in April after over 26 years of law enforcement service in Clinton and Camanche.
Reid retired effective April 27 after over four years serving as Camanche's police chief. Reid was hired in January 2017. Prior to joining the Camanche Police Department as police chief, Reid served on the Clinton Police Department for 23 years.
The first year on the job is always pretty intense for new officers, Reid noted.
“You have a little two-week acclimation period where you shadow in different facets of the police department and communications,“ Reid said. “And then you’re off to the academy, for us it was, I believe, 10 weeks at the time. It’s more lengthy now. And then you come back to a field training program where you’re assigned to different officers to go through the field training process.”
The Clinton Police Department‘s training program was a very structured and pretty intense training program with four phases, Reid said. After progressing through the training program, Reid was assigned to a patrol shift. He later was assigned to the investigations division, a division he worked in for over 16 years.
“In that job, you work all different types of cases,” Reid said. “If we had say a homicide, everybody in the department, especially in investigations, worked that case. We’d also bring in state agents as well to assist us. I worked anywhere from simple theft cases to major cases of burglaries, serious assaults.”
While in the investigations division, Reid was promoted to the ranks of corporal and sergeant, he said. He worked for a year as the sergeant of the investigations division before transferring to the patrol division, where he worked for about five years before accepting the Camanche police chief position, Reid said.
It was during the time in investigations at the Clinton Police Department that Reid started thinking about the possibility of becoming a police chief, he said. Reid went back to school and earned his master's degree in criminal justice. He also noted mentors he had while on the Clinton Police Department, including Randy Meier and former police chiefs Brian Guy and Gene Beinke. Reid also had many attorneys assist him throughout his career, from attorneys in the county attorney’s office to City Attorneys John Frey and Randy Current.
“From being a young officer to being the chief of police in Camanche, there just hasn’t been a year, a month, a day that I didn’t have wonderful people to rely on. It’s been so beneficial. The education was nice but that doesn’t teach you how to do this job. It’s the experiences and the people, the quality people, that you rely on.”
Among the changes Reid is most proud of in his time as police chief in Camanche is bringing staffing levels and training up to standards, he said. Reid noted the city previously entered into a 28E agreement with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office to supplement staffing for the Camanche Police Department to give officers rest and time off. Reid stressed it can affect officers’ safety greatly when they are overworked, adding they are just not as sharp and responsive as they need to be.
“Our numbers went down pretty low to a point where my first year, there was just four of us,” Reid said. “We couldn’t cover the staffing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The officers were very tired and overworked. And we weren’t really being as effective as I wanted us to be in having a better connection with people in the community. We were very reactive. Our solvability rate with criminal cases I worried about dropping significantly. So those were the challenges.”
Reid noted in his time as police chief, they started the School Resource Program with the Camanche School District. He also believes the department has accomplished a goal of increased community outreach, including a senior program to have better communication with senior citizens in the community to educate them about fraud and scams.
Reid is proud of his career, he said. Law enforcement is a difficult but honorable profession, he said. Reid worries about the future of law enforcement, he added.
“There are men and women every day, night, weekend and holiday who go to work and do honorable work,” Reid said. “And care about the people in their community. We have to continue to evolve in law enforcement. We need diversity in law enforcement. And we need to hold a standard in law enforcement.”