Physical work-outs took a twist for newest police officer
Posted on 06/06/2022
Joashua Clines stands by a patrol vehicle outside the NCPD entrance. Photo by Liz CezatAt first Joashua Clines thought his calling was to be a personal trainer. While working on his bachelor’s degree (B.S., Health & Human Performance/Business) at Auburn University in his home state of Alabama, he took on the challenge of helping two freshmen from the inner-city gain the strength, flexibility and endurance to play college football.

It was a long shot. The young men were eyeing the prize: to become walk-on players for the Auburn Tigers. Clines offered to help them get there – at no charge. He was an older student at Auburn – in his mid 20s – and often hung out in the gym as he learned the ropes of becoming a personal trainer. After going through Clines’ rigorous workouts two-hours daily, four days a week for 10 months, the young men applied for the team. One was accepted as a walk-on player in the spring, the other got a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Auburn in Birmingham, AL.

The success sparked by hours of intensive work reflected well on Clines too. Despite disparate cultures, the players and their trainer learned from each other. “There was one-on-one interaction and I learned how to help them meet their goals,” Clines said.

After graduating, he settled in his new career as a personal trainer. Clines’ brother and his wife also graduated from Auburn University and moved to the Detroit area, drawn by jobs in the auto industry. Joashua and his family decided to also move north and made it permanent in 2006.

While training a retired police sergeant in suburban Detroit, they got to talking about the police profession. Clines was intrigued by the sergeant’s stories and it rekindled his childhood interest in policing. He decided to change fields, with the full support of his biggest cheerleader, wife Jillian, and attended the Oakland Police Academy.

After earning his police certificate, he became an officer at the Canton Township Dept. of Public Safety and later joined the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority Police Dept. There, he patrolled parks such as Kensington, Stoney Creek, Lake St. Clair and Huron Meadows.

When he saw the job posting for the police officer position at Northville, it held great appeal because of being “a pinnacle small town” where he could practice community policing. “The city reminds me of Auburn. How nice everybody is,” he said.

The department’s values and mission also resonated with him. “This is where I want to be. It’s the perfect fit.”

How did his physical trainer experience segue into police work? “As a police officer, it has helped me out tremendously. When I go out on a call, I might see that someone is fidgeting. I ask myself, what’s going on here? I sense that something’s not right. It’s made me more perceptive of someone’s personality,” he said.

As an officer, he believes in getting to the root cause. “I try to find out, ‘What is the problem here and how do I make the problem stop?’”

Clines says the most exciting part of policing is the unknown. “Every day is different. One day, you get two calls: a lock-out or a pothole. Another day, it may be that someone is not breathing or a fire. I get that call and I go. You have no idea what you’re getting into.

“I’m going to be in law enforcement until I retire,” he said. “I’d like to be a sergeant or captain one day. My goal is to be a good example as a police officer. I want to treat people fair and with compassion.”

He and his wife have three children, a son, 14 and two daughters, 9 and 10. Police Chief Al Maciag introduced him to City Council members at their May 16 meeting, where he was warmly greeted. If you see Officer Clines around town, please welcome him to Northville.