Clifton L. Edwards’ professional life has been in law enforcement. It began when he was recruited into the Michigan State Police at the age of eighteen and would continue for the next thirty-eight years. During this time he thrived on the training and experiences while striving to make his mark.
The first half of Clif’s Michigan State Police 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, served as an advanced accident investigator, a dog handler, and a shift supervisor. During this time he maintained the departments highest firearms qualification, physcial fitness standard, and safe driving award while he earned four Professional Excellence Awards and two Letters of Commendations. Paths Crossed: Villains-Victims-Victors is about these experiences and the lessons reaped from it.
The second half of Clif’s Michigan State Police 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 officer 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. Paths Crossed - A Closer Look take the reader to a higher level of investigation and the lessons learned when the stakes are higher.
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, 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 training for employment as a protection ranger with the National Park Service, where he could couple his professional skills with his fondness for 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. As a Ranger for the National Park Service, he practiced these disciplines along with search and rescue and marine patrol. Transitioning from conventional to wilderness law enforcement, he came to realize what had not previously known. He also provided training to his fellow rangers on investigations and officer survival. Over the course of fourteen seasons, he served at Isle Royale National Park, Everglades National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, all being a wilderness marine environment. Paths Crossed - Protecting National Parks reveals the lessons learned in wilderness law enforcement.