Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.
By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired
About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.
XV. Gator GriffinThis tale is about Eden Police Officer, and now, Rockingham County Deputy Sheriff,s Deputy Tommy Griffin and is as best of my memory absolutely true.
In 1974 the Eden City Police Department hired a fine young man named Tommy Griffin and assigned him to Sgt Posey Meadow's shift. At that time, people were still getting used to being one city and there really was not enough officers to properly patrol the city. The Eden Police Department's budget seemed to be of lesser importance in the grand scheme of things because having a fine fire department meant a lower insurance rate for the citizens. There was water and sewer infrastructure problems that had to be addressed and to tell the truth, in the early days, dollars were stretched thin and police officers did not always understand the problems our city council was dealing with.
Well, there was the Draper beat, I remember my first time patrolling Draper in 67, Draper folks did not like the idea of strange police officers arresting them or giving them traffic citations. Tommy Griffin was assigned to the Draper beat. Back then, when you caught the Draper beat you felt kinda like you were at the far end of the world and you might see your Sergeant a couple of times a night. Draper was usually quiet during the week and you did not answer many calls but there was a wild and wooly club down on 700 called "The Nightspot" where a fella could go and dance, listen to a live band, watch eight or ten fistfights, buy an illegal drink and generally forget a hard week in the mills.
There was one character who worked hard in the mills and partied hard at the "Nightspot" every weekend, he was big, he was strong, and on the weekends, he was hard to handle. I'll just call him "Bubba" Since help for the Draper car was usually a good eight minutes away. If you tried to arrest him, that was gonna be eight long minutes Bubba was gonna be beating your head. Most fellas working the Draper beat would just as soon let Bubba make his way home.
The only problem with that is, they forgot to tell Tommy!! On his first weekend in Draper, about one AM, Tommy called in that he was stopping a suspected drunk driver, license number xxxxx. The dispatcher ran the number and immediately notified the Sergeant what was about to happen. The Sergeant and the Central car sped towards Draper to retrieve what ever was left of Tommy. Before they could get there, Tommy came on the radio "PD I am 10-8 (back in the car) and 10-72 (prisoner in custody) and in a few minutes, Officer Tommy Griffin pulled up to the Spray Jail with a scuffed up Bubba in the back seat. Sergeant P.O. Meadows told me later," that little Griffin boy, he's gonna be alright."
Michael D. Martin
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