on January 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

‘What I was meant to do’

SENECA — Years ago, B.J. McClure had just lost his job in the manufacturing industry and wasn’t sure where to go.

“I spent 13 years in manufacturing, and when that plant closed down I tried working in sales,” McClure said. “Now I’m doing what I was meant to do.”

Now the Seneca Police Department counts him among its best officers.

McClure, just three years into his law enforcement career, was recently named Seneca Police Department’s officer of the year for 2008, a designation determined by his fellow officers and ultimately Chief John Covington. Covington said McClure’s relative inexperience belies his undeniable productivity as a police officer.

“He just gives the job 100 percent every single day. He never lets up,” Covington said. “The voting officers chose B.J. by a resounding margin — it must have been something like 95 percent of them. Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of fantastic people employed here, but B.J. stands out. You’d think he’d been at it all his life.”

McClure said he was honored by the award, but more than anything else, humbled at being picked from among so many seasoned veterans.

“It’s humbling,” he said. “We’ve got so many good people working in this department. So many people deserved it.”

McClure, a Seneca native, has a wife of 18 years, Lisa, and four children; 18-year-old Kaitlyn, 16-year-old Michael, 14-year-old Ashley and 9-year-old William. He said its difficult for him to pinpoint what the most difficult part of his job is, because it’s a job he loves.

“Honestly I don’t think of it as a hard job. I just like every aspect of it,” he said. “I love doing what I do. I feel like I’m making a difference, and I’m helping people. Helping people is my favorite part of the job.”

McClure explained that he especially enjoys focusing on the department’s goal of getting drugs off the street, saying drugs are directly connected and often lead to other crimes. He credited Covington’s “proactive instead of reactive” approach for the progress the city has made in battling drug-related crime.

Ultimately, both McClure and Covington are thankful — McClure thankful to have found his calling, and Covington thankful to have him on the force.

“B.J. is a unique and awesome individual, who has done nothing but excel in every area of law enforcement since joining this department,” Covington said. “I feel very thankful to have him employed here.”