In 1993, I marred Cein Mass, who is an amazing wife and mother, and just 10 days after our wedding I started my law enforcement career when I enlisted into the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. I was station at Ft. Gordon, GA; Baumholder, Germany; and various bases throughout Bosnia in 1996. I had my first daughter, Rebekah, while stationed at Ft. Gordon. I got out of the Army 1998, and within a few months I was hired as a Police Officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. I had an incredibly fortunate career receiving my first detective assignment just four years after being hired and at the same time having my second daughter, Mckenzie.
I quickly rose through the detective hierarchy getting assigned to the Robbery Section. This was not the pinnacle for detective work but it was close to it. While working in the Robbery Section I worked on multiple high profile cases that grabbed national attention. My first case that grabbed national attention happened when Jody Thompson, a convicted armed robber pulled off an elaborate escape from the Nevada State Prison and returned to his life of crime in Las Vegas. Thompson seduced female prison employees, chummed up to staff members and positioned himself to be in a place to hide in a delivery truck as it exited the prison. The case was featured on America’s Most Wanted.
Within a year, I was assigned another high-profile case that received international attention. A local business owner from Thailand who was making some extra money in the evening as a cab driver. James Scholl got into the back seat of the cab on the Las Vegas Strip and poured a small bottle of gasoline on the head of the Thai cabbie then demanded his money. When the driver refused to cooperate, Scholl lit a match and threw it on the driver. The driver lived for three days before dying from his burn injuries. James Scholl’s trial and conviction was picked up by Court TV and was also aired in Thailand.
I was fortunate enough in my career to get the opportunity to get assigned to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Section. Prior to its dismantling for political reasons, it was the covert unit which for decades in Las Vegas handled the cases in the shadowy corners of politics and organized crime. Every detective who was assigned to this unit was required to sign a confidentiality contract limiting what we could talk about outside the walls of our unit. The Criminal Intelligence Section was the pinnacle of the detective hierarchy and I am still proud to have had the opportunity to work in a place where only a handful of detectives received the nod of acceptance to serve.
Caldwell’s new true crime book on the O.J. Simpson case, ROOM 1203, is available now! Order your copy today!
As I progressed in my career I felt a growing pull towards dedicating my life to serving Christ. My local church became more of a priority for me. An opportunity surfaced to work as a Resident Officer in a community 60 miles outside of Las Vegas where I had lived for most of my career. I know it seems strange to people outside of the LVMPD but serving as a resident officer is a considerable step up in pay from being a detective, so it was an opportunity I could not pass up.
Most of the college I had attended up to this point was focused on Criminal Justice but I found myself having an unquenchable thirst to learn more about Christianity. While serving my community as a Resident Officer, I went back to school and changed my major to religion. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Religion, I continued to my education until I obtained a Master of Arts in Theological Studies. In the middle of going to school and working, my wife and I decided we wanted to do foster care. We had a few kids pass through our home but one of them needed more than just temporary care, he needed a home and he was a perfect fit in our family. In 2016, my wife and I adopted our third child, Owen.
In 2015, I accepted the Senior Pastor position at Northpointe Community Church in North Las Vegas, where I served until I retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2017. After I retired, my family and I moved to Mill City, OR, where I currently serve as the Senior Pastor at Mill City Christian Church.