Were you raised in the church? I have always been in church, raised at St. Mary’s Road. I have a very strong belief in God and prayer, and what prayer can do. I remember talking to someone who was going through a hard time. She said, “I don’t know what to do.” I asked her if she had faith because that will get you through a lot of things. That’s my outlook; nobody’s life is perfect, even if you’re a millionaire.
Who’s in your family? My parents are Oscar and Maria Greene. They’re retired. My dad was a floor manager at Columbus Recycling, and my mother was a nurse at The Medical Center. My brother lives in Chattanooga. He works for the YMCA and my sister is a school teacher in Savannah.
What did you do for Thanksgiving? I volunteered at the Valley Rescue Mission. I think it’s important to commit a random act of kindness every day; find a way to be nice to somebody. Love your neighbor as yourself. Be nice to people, just because. That’s my outlook.
You’re a Columbus Police officer. Did you always dream of that? I was always interested in it, but I’d say after college I got really interested. I went to Tuskegee University. Often the citizens don’t get the real scope of what it means to be a police officer. My style is, educate first and arrest second. It’s so easy to throw somebody in jail, but then they’re right back out. If I take time to talk to them, they might say, “This officer is not just out to arrest me.” With the kids, I say, “Call me Officer Tim.” I want them to know me as an officer but also on a first-name basis.
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What area do you work in? I’m in the traffic division, in the motorcycle unit. I have strong ties to the community from riding a beat.
When were you sworn in? Sept. 20, 2002. I graduated from Carver High School in ’99 and went two years to Tuskegee, then I finished at CVCC.
In your eight years, has police work gotten easier or harder? I don’t think either one. The longer you do the job, the more wisdom you get. You will never satisfy everybody. You are a law enforcement officer and you have discretion, but you use it gingerly. Being a police officer made me grow up quick. You deal with so many people in different situations. People never call a police officer because something goes right.
What happened in your accident? It was July 13. I was going to a non-emergency situation. I was in a police car and crossing Schomburg Road. I was broadsided on the passenger side. It broke my hand, my bicep and it pulled my shoulder out. I had surgery July 28. I’m a Christian and I never once was upset with the guy. Before I had surgery, I was the most calm I was in my life. I called him and talked to him and said, “no hard feelings. I won’t be coming after you.” I think I wanted him to know I’m a Christian and it was just a mistake.
When do you go back to work? Hopefully January. I should be released from the doctor Dec. 28. It’s been a nice break, but if you enjoy what you do, you want to get back to it. When I come back, I’m going to be a crime-fighting machine. I’ve watched a lot of episodes of “Law and Order” since I’ve been off.
As time goes on, what do you see yourself doing in the department? I thoroughly enjoy being a motorcycle traffic officer but as time goes on, I’d like to move up and take a leadership role.
Do you have kids? I have a son, Gavin, who’s 3. The thing I thought about right after my crash -- I remember praying these words: “My son will be 3 in three days; don’t let me die.”
How often do you go to Gold’s Gym? Every day. I was so glad to get back in the gym after my accident. The police department encourages physical fitness. It’s something I’ve always done, from wrestling in high school. It’s my personal way of relaxation and meditation. The people there are like my family. Family and faith are two biggest strongholds in my life. Every day I live by three founding principles: love, help and inspire. If I do that, everything else falls in line.
Watch a brief interview with Tim Greene on Ledger-Enquirer.com/videos