Detective Steve Maynard has been with the Lodi police Department for almost eight years. Before coming to Lodi, he served in the Navy as a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency, conducting drug interdiction operations in Central America.
Later, he was assigned to the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. He was a member of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department before becoming an officer in Lodi. He is currently assigned to Investigations as the Crimes Against Children detective. I sat down with him last week to gain some insight into his career.
'NCIS' is one of the most popular shows on television right now. You were assigned to that department when you were in the Navy. Tell us about some of your experiences.
Well, it was absolutely nothing like the show. I investigated cases involving domestic violence, assaults, attempted murder, bank robberies, and plane crashes. My area of expertise was "equatorial rainforest" (Central America). I served in all parts of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. I was stationed on ships at sea and at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego (think "Top Gun" and Tom Cruise). I was also in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. It's probably easier to name the countries I haven't visited than the ones I have.
Bank robberies and plane crashes on a naval base?
I was two-for-two catching the suspects in the bank robberies. And the plane crashes involved a civilian plane that crashed on the base.
You are a member of the Explosive Ordinance Detail (bomb squad) for San Joaquin County. What do you like about the assignment?
It's challenging because the suspect has the advantage at first. It's like a chess game.
Some people might consider it unwise to be part of the bomb squad.
Like we say, "You don't have to be crazy, but it helps."
What motivates you in your current job as a child abuse investigator?
I've been doing child abuse and assault crimes investigations for 14 years. It was tough at first. I didn't like it, but soon realized I was giving a voice to victims who didn't usually have anyone to stand up for them. It's rewarding when a suspect is given a heavy sentence after they are convicted.
Does any case stand out for you?
One of the first cases I worked in Lodi as a child abuse detective involved the manager of the toy department at a local store. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
You are known as one of Santa's most dependable helpers. You expend a considerable amount of time and effort to dress up as St. Nick and visit children of local law enforcement officers during the holiday season. Why?
Law enforcement officers often miss birthdays, anniversaries and holidays because they are working. This is my chance to give something back to them and their families.
Any comments, questions or advice for Behind the Badge can be e-mailed to Jeanie Biskup at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Lodi Police Department, 215 West Elm Street, Lodi, CA 95240, phone (209) 333-6864.