Reception honors BPD’s Jones

Published 6:00 pm Friday, June 17, 2011

The Brookhaven Police Department held a reception on Thursday tohonor retiring Assistant Police Chief Nolan Jones.

Friends and family of the long-serving Jones came out and filledthe police headquarters to celebrate his achievements. Jones’retirement caps off more than 35 years of service to the BrookhavenPolice Department.

“I calculated up his total times with us,” said Police Chief PapHenderson of Jones. “His total comes to 35 years, four months andtwo days.”

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Jones first joined the Brookhaven Police Department in 1971 andserved until 1980. After a short absence, he returned in 1984 andhas been with the police force since.

After he became police chief in 2001, Henderson promoted Jonesto assistant police chief. During Thursday’s reception, Hendersonpresented Jones’ firearm, badge and nameplate to him.

Without the demanding schedule of a police officer, Jones nowlooks forward to spending more time with his family. He has a wife,Pat, a daughter, Brandi, and two grandsons, Gage and Rhett.

“It’s about these guys,” Jones said, pointing to his grandsons.”I’m looking forward to going fishing with these two.”

His retirement has not quite sunk in yet, Jones said. What hewill miss most are his co-workers.

“These people are like family,” Jones said. “It’s going to behard to keep me away.”

Jones entered the Brookhaven Police Department as a patrolman.At the time he never imagined he would become assistant chief.

Jones said he clearly recalls the first person he arrested.

It was for public drunkenness. He said that first arrest stillsticks with him.

“He had a few choice words for me,” Jones said. “After those,the first thing he said to me was, ‘Well, here come the little boysin blue.’ I still remember that.”

“I’ve seen good things, and I’ve seen bad things,” Jones said ofhis long service. “There aren’t words to describe some of the badthings I’ve seen.”

Jones also described a time he and Henderson were awake for 36hours straight working on one case.

“It just takes that sometimes,” Jones said.

Capt. Bobby Bell will replace Jones as assistant chief. Bell isalso a longtime officer, with over 30 years of service.

“I hate to see Nolan go,” Bell said. “I already miss him. He wasalways a dependable person. He was a person I could always ask foradvice, and he would lead me in the right way.”

Bell said Jones’ absence creates a void.

“I hope I can be the person the chief needs to help him,” Bellsaid. “Nolan was that person for years.”