Making A Difference: Police Officer Randy Ellis

EUGENE, Ore. -- Police Officer Randy Ellis has been a part of the Eugene Police Department since 1970. He has spent almost 43 years on the force and has used that time to try and make a difference in the community.

The California native came to Eugene to attend college at Northwest Christian College (now Northwest Christian University), but didn't want to go into law enforcement at first.

"I don't know if I wanted to be a police officer to begin with," said Ellis. "It was kind of one of those things, like a lot of them are, on a whim."

Officer Ellis worked a variety of jobs once out of college, even working part time in the Eugene timber industry. It wasn't until that he saw an advertisement in the paper that his interest was sparked.

"They were hiring, I looked and thought that might be fun for three to four years maybe," said Ellis.

Making A Difference in the community has been a big part of 65-year-old Officer Ellis's time while he has been a part of the Eugene Police Department. Ellis has organized fundraisers for the homeless in Eugene; one of his latest fundraisers was able raise $8,000, with which he purchased sleeping bags, clothing and food for the homeless.

"If you ask someone, 'Why did you become a cop?', everybody says they want to help people," said Ellis. "I think for the most part that is what people are looking for. Something they can do to make a difference."

Even the people of the local university community have noticed what Officer Ellis is doing to make a change. Shari Chrisiss, 57, has been working in the university district for the last 16 years and has been a big fan of Ellis. She loves to talk about his working with community as a whole, as well as his charity work.

"He is very community minded," said Chrisiss. "He has good report with the students and the businesses and he has great sense of compassion for people."

At the end of the day, Officer Ellis enjoys being the person that he is and loves doing what ever he can to help people. Whether it is doing what he can to calm down a rowdy suspect or dropping off food at The White Bird Clinic for people to come by and grab bite to eat.

"If you can help somebody, and have the ability to do it, then that is the right thing to do, " said Ellis. "If you have the ability to help somebody, and you don't, then it's wrong."