Welcome to the page about me. My name is James Clark (Jim to my friends). I started my law enforcement career as an explorer in Louisville, Kentucky. I joined the explorer post at age 14, working my way up through the ranks until I was made Captain of the post when I was 20 years old. At age 19, I was hired as a full-time dispatcher with a small local department, where I spent two years dispatching police and fire agencies for the small city. In November 1999, I "retired" from the explorer post and left my dispatching job when at age 22 I was hired by the Jefferson County Police Department. I was initially hired as a full-time paid police cadet. My responsibilities in this job included taking police reports over the telephone and manning the desk at the station. I was assigned to the Charlie District, which is located in the Fairdale area of Louisville.
In June 2000, I was promoted to a police recruit. I spent 6 weeks at the Jefferson County Police Academy and 18 weeks at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training Academy to prepare for my new assignment. I graduated as valedictorian and class leader. I was then assigned to a 14-week field training program, where I spent time on patrol in Baker, Charlie, and David Districts. In February 2001, I was released on my own and was permanently assigned to the Baker District. I patrolled a high crime beat and gained a lot of experience quickly.
On January 6, 2003, my department merged with the Louisville Police Department to form the largest police agency in the state of Kentucky - The Louisville Metro Police Department. In May, 2003, the major of my district asked me to apply for a position in a street level narcotics platoon. I did so, and it was no surprise I was accepted. I spent a little over a year in this position. During my stint as a narcotics detective, I earned the department's second-highest award, the Medal of Valor, when I was off duty and observed a business robbery in progress. I was able to confront the suspect, who was armed with a handgun, disarm him and place him under arrest with no injury to innocent bystanders. The suspect sustained only minor injuries and was eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years. It is one of my proudest moments as a police officer. The last five months of my assignment on the narcotics team was spent acting as a task force officer in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. I was part of an investigation into a large ecstacy-trafficking ring which resulted in dozens of arrests and the recovery of over 20,000 hits of ecstacy. The operation was titled Saigon Kick and was an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). After this investigation, I decided to begin looking for a detective position that dealt with violent crimes.
In June 2004, I was promoted to Detective and assigned to the Criminal Investigations Section - Robbery Unit. My unit investigated armed business and bank robberies throughout the entire city. We also assisted in other major crimes investigations, including homicides, cold cases, and sexual assaults. As part of this unit, I was awarded my second departmental medal - the Meritorious Unit Citation. We earned this medal for the investigation into a violent street gang that resulted in twelve arrests and cleared 162 street robberies, a business robbery, a murder and two rapes; and for our unit's 56% clearance rate for 2005. In March 2009, I was named my department's Officer of the Year. This was due to an investigation I lead in which 74 violent business robberies which spanned over a seven-year period was brought to closure. One of the suspects was indicted and the other was fatally shot by other members of my department after two lengthy high-speed pursuits, one of which involved a stolen police cruiser and ended in the Ohio River.
I retired from LMPD in November 2020 after serving 17 years as a Major Crimes detective. I took a reserve officer position with the Audubon Park Police Department shortly thereafter, but fully retired from police work in December 2021. I am married with two beautiful daughters and a son. I married my high school sweetheart in 2000.
I began collecting police patches in 1998 for a display at the Kentucky State DARE conference, which my former department hosted. After collecting over 1600 patches from all over the country and the world, I put together nine display boards which were prominently displayed at the conference. After the conference was over, the officer in charge gave me the patches. I had to choose something specifically to collect because there is just too much stuff out there to collect everything. In 1999, I chose to collect FBI patches only, and have been collecting them ever since. I formerly hosted regional shows annually for police collectors, and also was the host of the 2008 National Police Collectors Show. I will soon be hosting the 2022 National Police Collectors Show in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Besides police work and patch collecting, I also have interest in web design. I enjoy working in my yard and spending time with my wife and children. I am a fledgling handyman and like to do projects around the house. I am an avid sports fan and enjoy University of Kentucky and University of Alabama college football. During basketball season, my team of choice is the University of Kentucky Wildcats. I enjoy baseball during the summer and am a fan of the Chicago Cubs and the AAA Louisville Bats minor league team.
My wife and I like to travel and I also attend at least one police collectibles show each year out of state. In August 2018, I took over as the owner of Gman Emblem, a company that produces embroidered and PVC patches, challenge coins, lapel pins and other similar items.
That's enough about me. Let's get back to the collection...