March is designated as National Women’s History Month and we’re honoring the many talented women who work for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. Through the month, we’ll be highlighting various employees through a series of “The Women of CCPO” interviews to give a small glimpse into the important work they do.
Grace Clodfelter – Grand Jury Unit Sergeant
Q: What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Sgt. Grace Clodfelter (GC): Women’s History Month means a time to recognize and reflect on the accomplishments of all the great women who were, and those who still are, the catalysts for change in our continuing struggle for equality.
Q: What woman did you look up to as a young girl? Why?
GC: I have always looked up to my grandmother. She was an accomplished artist and graduated from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia in 1940, long before many women had the opportunity to pursue a college education. She was a fierce advocate for education and equality.
Q: How did you get into law enforcement and was this always an interest of yours?
GC: I graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. Although law enforcement wasn’t my original career path, I was hired by the Virginia Beach Police Department in their Forensic Services Unit. After three years, I relocated to New Jersey and took a position with the Crime Scene Investigations Unit of the CCPO. While in that unit, I continued my education and graduated with my J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 2005.
Q: What does your job at the CCPO entail? Have you always been in the Grand Jury Unit?
GC: My job as the Sergeant of the Grand Jury Unit entails running the Pre-Trial Detention, Grand Jury, and Insurance Fraud units of the CCPO. I manage the preparation and disposition of approximately 10,000 indictable cases from the 37 municipalities within Camden County. I also train all newly-sworn detectives, oversee the office’s National Crime Information Center user certification and compliance, as well as provide guidance and training to municipal police officers regarding criminal complaints.
Prior to the Grand Jury Unit, I worked for several years in both the Crime Scene Investigations Unit as well as the Special Prosecutions Unit.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
GC: The most rewarding part of my job is finding justice for victims, which is much more than simply a criminal conviction. I’m especially proud of the over $1 million in restitution I have secured for victims of financial fraud during my career.
Q: What is something about your job that would surprise people if they learned it?
GC: I think people would be surprised to learn the myriad of resources available to law enforcement in serving the public that go beyond solving crime. Whether it be community education and awareness events, specialized courts, victim advocacy, juvenile intervention nights, or substance abuse programs, the CCPO is continually engaged in keeping its citizens safe.