Lieutenant Jim Koch retires from Clovis PD after 32 year career

Lt Koch with his “shadow box” and Chief Fleming at the retirement ceremony. (Photo CPD)
Lt Koch placing his 25 year plaque on the Clovis Police Officer Association Wall of Heroes (Photo CPD)

March 22, 2024 – After 32 years of service to the Clovis Police Department, Lieutenant Jim Koch’s retirement was recognized at the March 11th City Council meeting, with kind words and stories from Chief Curt Fleming and the members of the council.

Lt. Koch was officially recognized for 27 years on the police force, but his career began several years before that as a Reserve Officer.

“I’ll be leaving a big part of my life here,” Koch said, “the people I work with, you end up spending more time with them than you do your family, so it’s going to be a little change for me.”

A particularly touching story was shared by Councilmember Drew Bessinger, who heard that Lt. Koch once finished mowing the lawn for a woman whose husband was taken to the hospital in the middle of the task.

“Lieutenant Koch noticed his lawn was particularly mowed, and decided to finish it for him before putting his mower away,” said Chief Fleming.

“There’s thousands and thousands of other stories similar to that,” Koch said, “where officers go above and beyond– and it’s because we want to leave people better than the way we found them.”

“Our officers do things for the right reason, not for recognition,” said Chief Fleming.

Both Koch and Fleming agree that police work is about more than just fighting crime– it’s about doing better for the community, and helping people in any way you can.

“You are the example of public safety being about so much more than a couple of the cases that we heard about, “ Councilmember Diane Pearce said to Lieutenant Koch at the council meeting, “That community element of providing safety to the public is so integral to what Clovis is and why people choose to be here.”

Council members echoed sentimentally that Lt. Koch has passed along the knowledge and wisdom that he has acquired over his tenure to new generations of police officers through his training.

“We will miss you, we love you, and we wish you the very best in retirement,” Mayor Ashbeck concluded.

Koch plans to stay busy in his retirement. He says that he plans to take a short vacation, while taking on some home improvement projects.