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Take 5 with O.C. Jones

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By Brad Bowman

Take 5 with Lt. O.C. Jones

Harvey, Ill., -

Thornridge high school Dolton, Ill.

Army 8 years medical supply trained as OR tech.

Woodford County Sheriff’s Office

Woodford County Fire Department Dive Rescue Team

Kentucky Police Academy, 1994

6 years Eminence Police Department

How did you get into law enforcement?

When I was a little kid, I was always intrigued about police. I always had a badge and a gun. As I grew older, I guess it was in me to wear a uniform. My dad wore one in the military. I enjoyed the military, but that wasn’t what I was here to do. I found my niche. My niche was being a policeman and I enjoy that. I am able to do a lot of work for the community and work with kids.

I got training as an operating room tech from the military. I was raising my teenage boys on my own. I had to get a second job and applied at a hospital in Georgetown as an operating room technician to Mercer County hospital at James B. Haggin. I worked there for quite a while. I enjoyed it. When I retire from doing this, I will go back to probably doing OR work. When I worked law enforcement with the Woodford County Sheriff’s Office, I would get up in the morning from being a policeman and go do nightshift in the OR.

How did you find out about Eminence?

I used to work at the La Grange Police Department. When I worked there, Eminence was always doing something when La Grange was quiet. La Grange used to be a quiet little town. I would hear Eminence is doing this or there was a foot chase. There was always some thing going on. When I got a divorce, I was looking for another job and found Eminence.

What are the law enforcement challenges in Eminence?

Eminence has the same crimes as Louisville or Lexington has, but they happen on a smaller scale. We work the same crimes just not on a daily basis. We’ve had shootings here, rape, murder… just on a smaller scale. This is town where you can raise a family and not worry about the hustle and bustle of a larger city. We can’t be sheltered from crime — it is going to happen. We have thefts that happen every day. It has its pluses and minuses being a small town. Everybody knows everyone’s business, but it has more pluses than minuses.

I enjoy working with the community here. I was a D.A.R.E. officer and I like working with kids.

What do you do for fun?

My wife and I like to fish and spend family time together. I like to scuba dive. I was a certified scuba diver/rescue diver in Woodford County. I was on the dive/rescue team for Woodford County Fire Department.

I bet you did a lot of interesting work with scuba diving?

Oh, yes. One of the deputies I worked with was down at Kentucky River. I got a phone call and he said, ‘Hey O., can you help me out? My truck just went into the river,’ I’m like, ‘Your truck went into the river? What happened?’

He was down at one of the locks on the river and he had parked his truck at one of the boat ramps. He was listening to country music really loud and it just went into the water. He called a tow truck and I dove in and hooked his truck up.

We did a lot of deep diving training in Mermet Springs, Ill.

The dive I remember was a deep dive of 101 feet and my buddy ran out of air. He was wearing a full-face mask, it freaked us all out that he ran out of air at 101 feet. It made it pretty interesting. It goes to show that anything can happen. Our instructor gave him air from extra oxygen tank. We had our hands on him so he could relax and know he was going to be okay. At 101 feet, you could freak out and you can’t see.

Have a funny law enforcement story?

When I was in La Grange—probably could tell you a lot but you couldn’t print it. I was on regular patrol during the daytime. As I was going by a car, I passed this guy with a joint behind his ear. We weren’t passing each other really fast I think we were held up in traffic and he wasn’t really paying attention. I whipped around and did a traffic stop. I asked him if he knew why I was pulling him over and he said, ‘no,’ and I said, ‘Because you have that joint in your ear.’  He said, ‘huh?’ and I took it out from behind his ear. He said, ‘Oh, my goodness I didn’t realize I had it behind my ear,’ and I said ‘I’m sure you didn’t.’ It was pretty funny.