Officer TJ Griffiths
“My Uncle wanted to protect the community he lived in. He thought that was the biggest part of being a police officer is serving the community you live in and Cape Cod is now my community. ”
His name is Thomas Griffiths Jr., but you may know him as just TJ. His lineage comes from a long line of Boston Police Officers. He was born to serve his community, and has stepped into this role graciously and with passion. This is his story of how he became a Cape Codder. TJ was born and raised in Quincy. His father became a Boston police officer later in his life after a tragedy struck the family. During his younger years, he spent summers on Cape Cod visiting his grandparents in Yarmouth. He spoke fondly of these memories.
“Our family used to summer on the Cape when I was living in Quincy. They live on a small cul-de-sac and we know everyone that lives on the same road. Everyone looks out for everyone because a lot are summer residents while others are full time. During the summer, the grand kids of all the people came down, (and) we would have a blast running around, going to the beach, riding bikes. As crazy as it could be living next to my grandparents it was awesome to see them.”
When Thomas was 14 his family committed to moving to the Cape full time, and his father would commute to the city from Yarmouth. They bought the house next to his grandparents’ home on the road he grew up on during the summers. He would then commute to Harwich to go to school at Cape Cod Tech. When he graduated high school, TJ looked to pursue the path of his father and his brothers. He left the Cape to attend college and hopefully fulfill his dream of becoming a policeman.
“My dad is a Boston Police Officer. He is one of seven boys. Six of them became Boston Police Officers. That was my vision. I will become a Boston Police Officer. I went up there hoping. You need residency and I was trying to get residency to get on the force, but I was going through a bunch of different hiring processes throughout the State. Orleans, Mashpee, Harwich, and a couple of others. I was working security in Boston at Children’s Hospital trying to get some experience in the field. After doing that for almost a year, Harwich called me. They had an open position and wanted me to interview for it.”
TJ found himself moving back to Cape Cod to become an officer on the Harwich Police Force. He has settled in there and finds enjoyment in serving the Cape Cod community. He finds inspiration through his Uncle’s words.
“I don’t think I am going anywhere. I’ve thought about it. Do I want to fall in my families footsteps in Boston? I had an uncle killed in the line of duty in Boston also so that's been a huge part of why I got into it and why Boston has spot in my heart for it. My Uncle wanted to protect the community he lived in. He thought that was the biggest part of being a police officer is serving the community you live in and Cape Cod is now my community. I am going to stay down here.”
He enjoys patrolling Harwich but sees issues in the community and has a bit of advice for the younger generations here.
“Some of the younger kids that I’ve run into and have issues on Cape have never gotten off Cape. They’ve never gone over the bridge and seen the world on the other side. I’ve told people to get off Cape and go see stuff. If you want to come back, come back. I did. You have to find something that interests you down here. The Cape is so unique that you can get into businesses like carving whales or concrete counter tops.”
TJ has spent time reaching out to people who have had issues with the law on the Cape and talking to them if they cared to talk. Being such a small community sometimes, you can’t get around knowing people from all over. He reaches out to talk through the problem and right the path.
“Cape Cod is so small. You run into people you deal with all the time. It can be tough. At the same time you can have hope, and reach out to them because of the small community and help them change some things hopefully. It can be tough but it’s a small town and everyone knows you instead of like a big city. Some of the calls we deal with are completely different than a big city. Our force likes to reach out and help people with the smallest of police needs. Our mission is to forge a strong relationship[ between us and the community.”
And as for what he loves down here?
“People think it’s a sleepy town and good old Cape Cod. People who live here year round know that the Cape has its issues but at the same time it’s awesome being on Cape. In the summer time its crazy busy and you deal with all the tourists, but fall is my favorite time of year. Columbus Day Weekend and on so once everyone leaves that’s our time. That's our summer time to hang out and do whatever we want.”
We wish Thomas all the best in the world and to be safe protecting and serving Harwich.