OPD officer has “heart power”
Lannie Claybar, of the Orange Police Department, has worked for more than 19 years as a police officer. He has worked in various departments such as patrol, investigations and bailiff while working in special enforcement.
Editors note: this is part of an ongoing series into the lives of local police officers. The intention is to build a good line of communication between the officers and the public in light of recent headlines in cities across the nation.
Claybar– nothing short of success
By Debby Schamber – For the Record
Vince Lombardi once said, “Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.”
Lannie Claybar, of the Orange Police Department, chose not to go into the family business. Instead he followed his own path and went into law enforcement. Over the past 19 years at OPD he has proven his commitment to the profession and to the community. He continues to do his duties with a kind and gentle spirt, but when the situation changes, so does he.
“If you do this job, you have to be assertive. Everybody that does what we do for a living has to turn it on at some point,”Claybar said. “It’s just part of the job.”
Claybar was born and raised in Orange. His local family history goes back three generations on the Claybar side of his family tree. He has had the opportunity to work elsewhere. But, there is no place he would rather be.
“I love working here in my home town,” Claybar said. ” I am very fortunate to live here.”
Claybar graduated from West Orange-Stark High School in 1988. During his high school years he worked part-time at ClaybarFuneral Home doing odd jobs. But, it was during his younger years when he was introduced to law enforcement and where the seed was planted in his young mind. There were not any footsteps to follow since there is not anyone in his family who was a police officer. Instead it was the nighttime crew, who were fire fighters and police officers. During the 50s and 60s firefighters and police officers worked at funeral homes which also doubled as ambulance services. During this time he got to know the first responders and what their profession was all about.
Later, it was an ad in a local newspaper which caught his eye. It was a public notice for an upcoming civil service exam. Based on the grade made on the test, the applicant could be considered for the job as a police officer. Claybar passed and as they say the rest is history.
Claybar has achieved a master peace officers certification through tenure and education hours. He is also a certified instructor.
Over the years, he has worked at various positions within the department. He has been a field training officer, detective and a bailiff while working in special enforcement. Currently, he is seen on the streets of Orange working patrol.
Being an Orange native has been both positive and negative for Claybar. He said he has had the opportunity to learn more about city than the average person. This includes the “good and the bad.”
The most memorable call he received from dispatch was early in his career. He went to a convenience store where a homicide had just occurred. He was the first officer to arrive on the scene since he wasn’t very far away. There was not anything significant about the case, only that it was his first of its’ kind.
On a lighter and humorous note, he chuckled and smiled as he told of the time a woman flagged him down to ask if he was familiar with Orange.
Like a lot of police officers, he has a pet peeve. It is an all too common occurrence when a parent of a small child tells them if they don’t behave then a police officer will come and arrest them. Claybar says he politely tells the child that is not the only thing police officers do. In addition, he tells them to act right for their parents and besides, he simply would not do that anyway.
When not at work, Claybar enjoys hunting and fishing. He also takes some special time for his wife of 11 years and his daughters ages seven and five years old. A picture of his daughters on his phone dressed as princesses makes this dad very proud.