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Clifton L. Edwards

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Clifton L. Edwards’ “professional life has been in law enforcement. He was recruited into the Michigan State Police (MSP) at the age of eighteen. During his nearly twenty-seven year career, he thrived on the training and experiences, while striving to make his mark. The first half of Clif’s career was served in the Uniform Services Division, primarily as a trooper. Serving between six posts, he was a field training officer for five rookies, assigned to an undercover team, and served as an advanced accident investigator, a dog handler, and a shift supervisor. He earned four Professional Excellence Awards and two Letters of Commendations  for investigations he conducted.

The second half of Clif’s career was served in the Investigative Services Division as a detective. He assisted police departments across a nine county area, managed major crime task forces, conducted both sensitive & cold-case investigations, was a street supervisor/operative for an undercover drug enforcement team, and served as a post detective. As a Detective Sergeant, Clif earned three Meritorious Awards: one for solving a serial kidnapper/rapist case, one for solving an organized crime case, and the last for solving a fifteen-year old murder case. He was twice nominated trooper of the year. Clif was then promoted to Detective Lieutenant to command a multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement team. This position is the highest rank in the MSP hierarchy where enforcement duties are part of the job description. During this period, Clif taught a variety of investigative classes in the academy. At age forty-five, he retired from the Michigan State Police.

A little over three months after retirement, 9/11 occurred.  Like many Americans, Clif felt a call back to service and began working as a Napoleon Township police officer. In that position he provided patrol and investigative services, worked as a school liaison officer in an alternative high school, and was instrumental in the creation of a School Active Violence Event response plan for Napoleon Community Schools for which he received an award. During this time he began pursuing employment as a protection ranger with the National Park Service, where he could couple his professional skills with his love of the outdoors.     

At age forty-seven, Clif graduated from the National Park Service Seasonal Law Enforcement Ranger Academy, Wildland Fire Fighter Training, and Emergency Medical Technician Training. He now serves proudly as a Protection Ranger for the National Park Service, where the core skills he employs are law enforcement, emergency medical service, wildland firefighting, and search and rescue. He also provides training to his fellow rangers on investigations and officer survival. He has served at Isle Royale National Park, Everglades National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.” Clifton L. Edwards is the author of  Paths Crossed: Villains - Victims – Victors.

According to the book description of Paths Crossed: Villains - Victims – Victors, "When I was only fifteen, a thirty-five year old Deputy Sheriff, married and the father of three daughters, was transporting inmates to a dentist when he was overpowered and killed by a prisoner, who then escaped. Thirteen years later, that murderer and my Paths Crossed." ~ Clif Edwards Paths Crossed of Villains, Victims & Victors by Michigan State Police Detective Lieutenant Clif Edwards is a true dramatic narrative of everyday heroes and crime drama. It reveals a police officer’s evolution from rookie to veteran and its impact, both professionally and personally. Told in a highly inspirational manner, appealing to the general public and its insight to a law enforcement career makes it suggested reading for all criminal justice students. Intended as the first in a trilogy, it is crafted in 76 chapters which follow an orderly theme. Every chapter stands alone as a short story coupled with lessons learned, although many are enriched by prior episodes. Chapters are accented with pictures, articles, documents and quotes. Intriguing, sometimes shocking and always inspiring, it is a must read for all served by law enforcement. These stories allow the reader to experience perseverance, mistake and sacrifice. Foremost, the stark, yet precious reality of law enforcement is made real.”

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