JOHN MICHAEL “MIKE” GRIMES
Year Inducted: 2016
John Michael “Mike” Grimes began his law enforcement career in 1964 as a reserve and part-time police officer with the Yukon Police Department.
In 1968 he became a fulltime deputy sheriff with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office where he remained until 1973 when he was accepted into the 31st Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy.
Mike continued his family’s tradition of service following his father Bill Grimes and his twin brother, Pat, as an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper.
Mike began working with agencies and families of officers killed in the line of duty in 1978 after his brother Pat was killed in the line of duty.
Mike worked extensively in getting legislation passed to assist families of fallen officers with benefits at both the state and federal levels. He was integral in having legislation passed in Oklahoma removing the remarriage penalty for surviving spouses, allowing them to remarry without losing benefits.
In 1979 Mike was promoted to supervisor and assigned to the Executive Protection Division of the OHP. After being promoted to first lieutenant in 1984, he served as Troop Commander for Troop I in the Panhandle and Troop B in Tulsa and the Training Division in Oklahoma City.
In 1991 Mike was promoted to captain and became a zone commander. One of the divisions under his zone command was the aircraft division. Mike has a pilot’s license and is qualified to fly fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and multi-engine aircraft.
In 2003 he received the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year for Humanitarianism. He also received the International Association of Chiefs of Police Award for work in advancing police aviation.
Mike was promoted to major in 2003 and deputy chief in 2005. Colonel Grimes retired from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in 2006 after 33 years of service.
In 2007 he accepted a position as Chief of the Investigative Division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry, a position he held until retiring in 2013.
Retirement would not last, however, and Mike returned to the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office as a criminal investigator and pilot with the rank of lieutenant.
Mike volunteers as the state coordinator for the Federal Public Safety Officer Benefit Program and prepares paperwork for the families of fallen officers. He also assists with the Concerns of Police Survivors and has served as an advocate and expert witness for survivors of line-of-duty deaths.
Mike is a member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Critical Incident Debrief Team and has been recognized by the national C.O.P.S. organization for his efforts as a law enforcement survivor advocate.
In 2012 he was honored as the first recipient of the Suzie Sawyer Distinguished Service Award.
Mike currently serves as the FBI National Academy Graduates Oklahoma Chapter secretary/treasurer, the Oklahoma Retired Troopers Association secretary/treasurer, the Oklahoma Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association secretary/treasurer, and as the Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Pilots Association. Mike is a trustee on the boards of the Oklahoma Concerns of Police Survivors, the Nikky J. Green Scholarship Foundation, and is an elder and the treasurer for the First Christian Church in Yukon, Oklahoma.
Mike is currently completing his 43rd year of law enforcement service.