Turlock Police Detective Tim Redd doesn’t exactly remember this memory, but his mother has told it to him enough that it must be true.
“She just reminded me of this recently that when I was five years old one of my favorite books was ‘Little Timmy Plays Policeman,’” Redd recalled. “Even back then law enforcement was calling to me.”
For near on three decades Redd hasn’t been playing as a policeman, but rather living it and as the primary detective for the department’s crimes against children and high-tech crimes investigations, Redd is responsible for getting hundreds if not thousands of child predators sent to prison. Now, Redd is ready to retire and move onto a new chapter.
“It has never been about me,” Redd said. “I’ve worked with a really good detective unit and my partner Gina Giovacchini is just as passionate as I am about protecting children.”
Redd comes from a family with a history of protecting and serving. His grandfather was a reserve deputy for the Butte County Sheriffs Department and his father was a dispatcher for the Ceres Police Department.
“With my dad being a dispatcher, I kind of got the inside scoop as to what goes on behind the counter,” Redd said. I had done a citizen ride along and got exposed to the Explorer program and I thought I would give it a shot.”
He also enrolled in a criminal justice class at Ceres High School, and the teacher, Douglas Ravaglioli, also was an influence in his decision to pursue law enforcement.
“He would tell us these stories about his time in police departments and how much he enjoyed the work and that proved to be a driving factor for me,” Redd said.
His own start in law enforcement began in 1988 as an Explorer with the Ceres Police Department and later moved on to a reserve officer with Hughson Police Services and then a full-time officer with that agency. He went to the Oakdale Police Department in 1995 and in 2007 he was lured to the Turlock Police Department by then police chief Gary Hampton.
Redd’s first assignment as a detective was with the county’s narcotics agency and he thought after countless and arrests that he had found his niche, but he was about to get a whole new challenge.
“When I promoted, they put me into special projects, which was kind of a catchall,” Redd said. “I was monitoring sex offender compliance and registration and secondhand dealers, like pawn shops and then they started having me work crimes against children.”
It didn’t take long for Redd to see this was his true calling.
“In talking to these children and hearing their trauma, whether it was physical abuse or sexual assault, I wanted to take away that pain and I knew the only way I could do that was to make sure that the person that did it receive their punishment through the justice system,” Redd said.
In 2015, Redd was asked to restart the department’s High-Tech Crimes Unit after it was shelved during the recession.
“I had computers growing up, but I’m talking about some old models like the 386s, so I wouldn’t say I was all that technology savvy, but I was really interested in learning,” Redd said. “The department could only pay for so much training, so I would take some of my own vacation days and pay to go to some of these trainings myself.”
That commitment to learning not only helped Redd with the investigations, but also has led to what will be a lasting legacy in law enforcement. He is taking everything he has learned over the decades of hands-on experience and is teaching the next generation of law enforcement. And it’s not just locally. He has become a sought-after instructor and has traveled around the globe to teach specialty courses to law enforcement.
“My calling has been about protecting the kids and now I will be able to carry it on by passing down what I have learned to others,” Redd said.