Clean up underway at Trenton Police Department
By Carrie A. Mizell
After seven years spent paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair, Trenton Police Chief Jim Raven says he is proud of where he is today.
“I am proof that you can’t ever give up on life,” Raven said. “I’ve got the scars to prove it.”
Since accepting the job as Trenton’s new top law enforcement officer on May 9, Raven has been working to secure additional patrol cars, clean up the department’s evidence room, and run an underage alcohol sting at local bars and convenience stores.
When Raven takes the time to sit back in his office chair and reflect on the path his life has taken, he gets a little choked up. Especially when he recalls the year 1978 and the accident that nearly left the police chief with an amputated limb.
While working at one of the country’s largest meat processing plants, just after graduating high school, Raven said a knife slipped one day and severed nerves in his right femoral region.
As a result Raven was paralyzed for seven years. Doctors wanted to amputate his leg, but instead opted for an extensive neuropathic reconstruction.
Today, Raven does more than walk around. Not only is he a certified bicycle cop, but he’s also working to see that employees and officers within the Trenton Police Department work together as a team.
“I can’t do it by myself,” Raven said.
With help from Special Agent Derrick Gainey and Lt. Jonathan Parrish, both of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, the police chief conducted an underage alcohol sting.
On June 6, the officers found that just one of six Trenton businesses sold alcohol to a minor. That store was the Kangaroo Store, located at 705 North Main Street. The employee who sold the alcohol to a minor was issued a Notice to Appear. According to Raven, a judge will now decide the ultimate consequences.
“The detail was a great success,” Raven said.
Contacts made through that operation led Raven to take possession of three Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars, which were donated to the city. The vehicles are in the process of being stripped and will soon be on the road.
All the vehicles have less than 75,000 miles on them. One came from Seminole County, another from DeSoto County, and the third from Medley Police Department, which is in Miami-Dade.
“The cars didn’t cost the city a penny,” Raven said.
The police department also received a donation of several new Kodak Easy Share cameras for use in patrol cars from Steve Lampros of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Most recently, Raven worked with Susan Pratt, a former evidence custodian with the University Police Department in Gainesville, who volunteered her weekend to help Raven organize the Trenton Police Department’s evidence room.
According to Raven, the two worked from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. one day and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the following day to complete the daunting task.
“Everything is now pretty much in order,” Raven said. “I am just waiting to dispose of a whole lot of stuff.”
As for working on the city’s “horrible prescription drug problem,” the police chief could say only that, “things are in the works.”