Photo by Nicole Davis
When Sgt. Justin Griggs came to the Bargersville Police Department in 2009, he saw the town as an up and coming area.
“I wanted to get in on the ground level,” he said.
Bargersville had seven full-time police officers when Griggs came onto the department. It has grown to 13.
“I work with a great group of guys,” Griggs said, “and the public in Bargersville loves us. It’s the perfect job.”
Griggs grew up in Brown County. While attending Trine University, he applied for a job in law enforcement and was hired to the Nashville Police Department.
Griggs now resides in Bargersville with his wife, Hannah and two children. He is a defense tactics instructor, a general instructor, on the bike patrol unit and does forensic analysis for mobile devices on the Bargersville department. Promoted to sergeant in 2016, he is currently training with the department on the use of drones in search and rescue cases.
What was your inspiration to become a police officer?
I have always wanted to help people. A lot of people think you have to be in fire or public service to help people, but there’s a lot of different positions where you can have a direct effect on someone’s life. I decided to analyze my skill-set and decided that law enforcement would be a good fit for me.
What has been one of your most gratifying moments on the job?
I was able to assist in children that needed to be removed from a home and able to do so quickly. Usually it’s a long process. There was one situation where we were able to get them out and into a safe place quickly, and that was really gratifying.
What aspect of the job do you find most challenging?
Everything is constantly changing. The laws are constantly changing. No two people are alike. So the most challenging thins is dealing with interpretation in law and dealing with people with all different personality types.
What do you enjoy doing in your off-time?
You can’t make your job your life. You have to have healthy hobbies outside of your profession.
I enjoy Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, training and competition. I enjoy prospecting, gold panning. There is gold everywhere in Johnson County. Anywhere you have creek stone or granite, there is always gold. It’s never a significant amount but it’s fun to do. I make maple syrup. Metal detecting is a really fun hobby. I enjoy going to yard sales, finding old yearbooks and I like to return those old yearbooks to the people that went to that high school. I really like flying drones, boxing, boating, scuba diving, riding ATVs, fishing hiking (and) I collect coins. To the best of my knowledge, I operate the only mobile ice cream bike in Central Indiana. You might see me pedaling through the neighborhoods.
What are your future goals, professionally or personally?
Personally, I’d like to have one more child. Professionally, I’d like to be chief of police. Before I retire, I’d like run for sheriff as well.
What would you have done if you hadn’t become a police officer?