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Tim Heiden: With a servant's heart

Barstow Police Sgt. Tim Heiden was born in Watertown, Wisc., the second among his two brothers and sister. He was raised by him mom — a single mother — and her parents.
Heiden has always been involved in sports — either as a player or coach. He played basketball during his years at Watertown High School and in junior college at Madison Area Technical College.
Heiden has an AA degree, BA degree and basic, intermediate and supervisory POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) certificates. He also has a life-time teaching credential for California Community Colleges.
“I am blessed to be married to Lynna Kay for 22 years,” he said. “I have three daughters — Laurel, Stacia and Ashley. I am the proud Papa of Timothy Cecil Pace, 6 years old.”
Heiden served in United States Marine Corps approximately 12 years and has been a Barstow Police Officer for about 18 years, serving in a variety of positions including officer, mall officer, school resource officer, detective and sergeant.  
He is also the executive director of the Barstow Police Activities League and is the Board President for the Barstow College — a member since 1994. For about the past eight years, he has also been a board member for the Desert Sanctuary. He is a Christian police officer and a member of High Desert Church.
“As a small child, growing up without a father I was always part of some community programs aimed at needy kids,” he said. “ I believe this is where I became passionate about helping less fortunate people and kids. I also saw my Mom give so much of herself so we would have a better life. My Mom is my hero, and she always put her children first.”
Q: Why did you move to Barstow?
A: I arrived in Barstow as a Criminal Investigator for the USMC. I re-enlisted for the Marine Corps Logistic Base -- leaving Quantico, Va. I fell in love with Barstow and its giving spirit. I met Chief Robert Sessions and knew I wanted to be part of his team and serve this community. Chief Sessions taught me that there was more to being a police officer than arresting people.  He displayed compassion towards everyone and that is something I try to emulate on a daily basis.  He told me he was not sure how good a cop I could be; however, he knew I could make a difference in kid’s lives.  

Q: What is your passion?
A: Humbly serving others, especially children, domestic violence victims and homeless veterans. The Lord has blessed me and my family and we strive to make other people’s lives better. We have instilled this passion to our children & grandson. Examples of this is Christmas, Cops & Kids and the Thanksgiving programs we coordinate. I believe that if we all did a little for someone, especially a stranger, there would be a lot less problems in our country.  

Q: Describe a special memory you have of Barstow.
A: Barstow has provided me with many memories and blessings; however, the most special memory is when I met my wife. I was a Marine and she was working in the Education Office on base. I knew after two weeks of meeting her that she was the one that I wanted to marry; however, she did not initially have the same thought. After a  lot of prayer and luck, Lynna said yes. I am blessed to be married to the best. Lynna is a strong Christian wife.
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you.
A: I know this will be hard to believe; however, I really do not like public speaking. I also do not like to be recognized for helping others. I believe in service before self and doing things for the right reason -- especially when others are not watching.

Q: What are the top three issues facing the Barstow, and what’s your take on them?
A: I have a different take on this question. I believe we need to communicate better with all of our citizens. Many times we do not get out the correct message regarding programs and services within Barstow and the Police Department.
I believe we need more collaboration between all nonprofit groups in order to better serve our citizens. This would also identify services, thus providing what services may be need — avoiding duplication. Lastly, I believe we all need to stay positive and focused  —  never taking anything for granted and staying humble. Too many people forget how blessed that they are. We all need to stay positive and be part of the solution -- not part of the problem.  It is easy to be negative and refuse to look within.

Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why? What would you ask them?
A: Billy Sunday. He was a man on fire for God. His passion brought thousands of people to God. He also was an awesome professional baseball player. I fist would ask to take a picture with him and then for his autograph.  I have several autographed sports memorabilia items; however, his would be my most cherished. I would not ask him anything, I would follow him to his revivals and listen to him in the tabernacle. I want his passion in everything I do. If I have his passion, I humbly believe I can change lots of things for lots of people.
Q: Where do you get your values from?
A: My Mother (Patricia Heiden), Grandma and Gramps and Uncle Harlan.  These people never gave up on me, no matter what I did or did not do.  They sacrificed for us and always taught me that it was important to help others —  especially strangers. Without their unconditional love I would not have become the man I am today.

Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about Barstow.
A: It is a small community with a huge heart. Barstow has never failed to step up to the plate and accept a challenge to help someone in need. This community has so many wonderful people that give, not only with their finances but roll up their sleeves and make a difference in other people’s lives on a daily basis. One example is Christmas, Cops & Kids.
Q: What is the ultimate issue facing the United States, and what’s your take on it?
A: People not willing to help others -- especially the less fortunate. I believe too many people are just looking for reasons why they cannot or will not help someone. I believe we take many of our blessings for granted and do not give credit where credit is due.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I am blessed to be a sergeant. If the Lord is willing I would humbly accept a promotion; however, I have no problem retiring as a sergeant. I want to stay active helping kids. I hope to be a Daddy and Papa for my grandson  — passing on my passion to him.

Q: What is your secret to living a happy, satisfying life?
A: My strong belief in GOD  and family. I have a wonderful wife, daughters and grandson. After a traumatic day at work, I can go home and am loved. I also know no matter how bad a day I have had, my God still loves me. He will never give me more that I can handle. God brings me and my team home safely at the end of our shift. My job allows me to see people that really need help and then I find ways to assist them.  

Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: Serving Barstow. I am humbled to be a Barstow Police Officer. I have a great team I am assigned to and they constantly strive to make our community safer. Some days I feel like I should be paying Barstow for allowing me to serve. Every day I get to meet different people with unique and challenging problems. Many of the daily endeavors make me smile; however, a few of them make me cry. If I did not have a strong Christian faith, some events that I have encountered would make me cynical and distrusted with mankind. The neat part is that I really, humbly believe I am making a difference in generations to come (silently and without fanfare).  

Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?
A: “Courageous” and “Blind Side.” Both of these movies made me cry. I believe as a police officer we never hesitate to protect our communities  —  especially people we really do not know; however, many times we neglect our families. We take our families for granted. I have accepted the challenge and for me and my house we serve the Lord.
I am blessed to be part of an awesome team at the Police Department and I strive to make sure that our officers never take their families for granted. I purchased the soundtrack to “Courageous” and have it memorized — some powerful words that I try to live my life by. The other movie I love is because of the underdog (less fortunate) being successful because someone (a stranger) cared enough to make a difference.

Q: What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Fried chicken and pizza

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say, anything you’d like to get off your chest?
A:  I am humbled to have been asked to be part of this. Thank you.

Q: How can readers get a hold of you?
A: 760-953-4355 (cell).

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