Behind The Badge: Clay Campbell Narcotics Investigator (Ret.)

Prior to joining the Utility team, Clay Campbell began an exciting Law Enforcement career in 1991 at the Houston Police Department. He then became a Narcotics Investigator for the Houston Police Department where he spent his career.

Clay later joined the Utility,Inc. team as a Business Manager in Jun 2019 bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to help serve the agencies he once worked alongside. “As a retired law enforcement officer, I understand how instrumental our system and products can be to drastically improve law enforcement situational awareness capabilities and add much needed layers of protection for police officers, government agencies and the public.” Clay explained.

Clay sat with Utility’s Blog Editor to answer a few questions about his story:

Clay Campbell pictured during his time working as a Gang Task Force officer with the Houston PD

Q: Tell us a bit about about yourself Clay.

A:  I am married to my wife (and high school sweetheart) of 30 years and we have 2 boys. My Law Enforcement career began in 1991 at the Houston Police Department’s Academy. The first 4 years of my career were in Patrol and the Gang Task Force. I took an early interest in the devastation that crack cocaine was having on the neighborhoods that I worked and began focusing on Narcotics exclusively. I was invited to join the Narcotics Division after a significant arrest and cocaine seizure that I worked with one of my informants. My Narcotics assignments spanned almost a decade of street level, mid-level and multi-jurisdictional task forces. 

Q: What inspired you to choose the path of working in
Law Enforcement?

A: Isaiah 6:8 says, “Here am I, send me.” I am very much a ‘right is right, wrong is wrong’ person and have a fundamental aversion to those who would take advantage of others. Law Enforcement allowed me to do something bigger than myself.

Q: What were some highlights from working in Law Enforcement?

A: I graduated in the top 10% of my Academy class, I was nominated for the 100 Club Rookie of the Year award, I was awarded the Department’s Meritorious Service Award, I received over a dozed Significant Seizure  letters from the Chief’s office, in 1994 my unit was awarded the Chief’s Unit Citation and I was the Lead Case Agent on the largest HPD-only crack cocaine seizure (at that time) in department history. 

Clay Campbell pictured with his team at the Houston PD.

Q: What has been your biggest “lesson learned” that you’d like to share with other Law Enforcement leaders?

A:  I have always recognized, appreciated and practiced servant leadership. When we are in a position of leadership, we are also in a position of responsibility to those who follow that leadership. Their wellbeing is dependent on our choices and integrity demands that we keep the downstream consequences of those choices at the forefront of our minds when making decisions. I highly recommend the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. 

Q: What does Transparency mean to you?

A: Real transparency is like Integrity, it is the willingness to ‘look’ within oneself and the courage to be honest about what you find. 

Q: How have you seen Technology aid in Law Enforcement?

A: Technology has been part of my law enforcement life since I was chasing bad guys through the streets of Houston with my Sabre radio. It is an absolutely critical piece of accomplishing the mission safely. A major problem with technology in law enforcement, specifically as it relates to body worn cameras, is that our competitors are delivering ‘technology’ that falls well short of what is available to the general public in their smartphones. The availability of technology should be leveraged to get officers home safely to their families. At the same time, that same technology can efficiently and effectively manage the evidence collected and ensure meaningful transparency for the agency and the community that it serves. 

Clay Campbell. Business Manager at Utility Associates

Q:  What advice would you give to an agency that is going through the process of selecting a Digital Evidence Management System DEMS?

A: Vetting any solution can be challenging for leadership in law enforcement. Choosing a system that is so critical, one must ask themselves, “Am I aware of all options in this given technology space?” Until you can answer this affirmatively, the search isn’t over. I have had many Chiefs / Sheriffs express how glad they were that they accepted my call to discuss our technology. If you accept the premise of Servant Leadership, that I discussed above, then the time spent ensuring your agency has the absolute best available technology should be an expected part of your vetting process. It should be complete before asking your troops to put their lives and careers in the hands of that solution.

photoClay Campbell
Police Officer, Retired, Houston Police Dept. 
Business Manager, Utility, Inc. 
250 E. Ponce De Leon Ave., Ste. 700, Decatur, GA 30030
t: 1-800-597-4707 | m: 832-953-9849 | f: 1-877- 449-5088 
e: ccampbell@utility.com | w: utility.com

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