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Crime stopper says so long

Sgt. Roger Griggs of the Denton County Sheriff’s Office has done a lot during a long and distinguished career, but we think it’s impressive that one of the things he said he’ll miss most upon his retirement is “helping the people.”

Griggs, 61, is retiring later this month after nearly 30 years in law enforcement.

Twenty of those years have been spent with the county, so Sgt. Griggs is a familiar figure around the area, although he may be better known to many folks as the “Denton County Crime Stoppers guy.”

Crime Stoppers encourages people to make anonymous tips via phone, text message or e-mail, and Griggs was asked to get involved with the program in 2005. He told us that it wasn’t long before he really started to enjoy helping other agencies and keeping the streets safer.

“I am proud to say I am part of such a successful program,” he said.

Griggs said the program has come a long way technologically since he took over, and new developments are now in place to help make sure that no tips are missed. The program offers up to a $1,000 reward if a suspect is apprehended.

The program has a long reach, Griggs said. In 2009, a tip led investigators all the way to Thailand and resulted in the arrest of a longtime fugitive.

“I was e-mailing anonymously with a tipster back and forth until we finally got a location of where the man was staying,” Griggs told us. “That’s when we coordinated with the Royal Thai Police, and he was arrested.”

Such cases, Griggs said, are why he knows Denton County Crime Stoppers works. Since the program started in 1989, nearly 200 weapons and $5 million worth of drugs have been removed from the streets.

Law enforcement has always been a part of his life, Griggs said.

“I was active in the Explorer Scouts as a kid, working with the Highland Park police,” he said. “It’s just something I really enjoyed.”

Some might say that Griggs was still just a youngster when he went to work for the Dallas Police Department.

“I got my start there when I was 19 1/2 in 1972,” he said.

While with the Dallas police in 1976, Griggs worked with the Secret Service during President Gerald Ford’s visit to the State Fair of Texas.

“That was a big thing for me,” Griggs said. “Dallas was fun; I grew up in Highland Park, and you didn’t see the same kind of crime there that I saw while on patrol with DPD.”

After leaving the Dallas police force, Griggs served nearly two years in the U.S. Navy, and upon his return, he joined the Lake Dallas Police Department.

Despite all the chaos his career has taken him into at times, Griggs said he doesn’t have regrets.

“I consider myself lucky to make it this far,” he said.

Well, Sgt. Griggs, Denton County residents are the lucky ones — thanks for so many years of dedicated and unselfish service. Your contributions are greatly appreciated, and we wish you all the best during your retirement.

As far as Crime Stoppers is concerned, Griggs said that while he is leaving the program behind with his retirement, he might not stay away for too long.

“I have been asked to join as a board member,” he said, acknowledging that it’s a possibility that he might take the offer at some point.

We hope Sgt. Griggs will give the offer serious consideration — his experience would help ensure that this valuable program continues to be effective.