Lubbock Police Chief Claude Jones announced Monday that he will retire next Friday. Jones served as interim chief for a year, before officially taking the job July of 2003.
Hired at the age of 21, Chief Claude Jones worked in nearly every department of the Lubbock Police force. On Monday, we learned about his early years on the job and how he worked to expand the police department.
For months, Police Chief Claude Jones has been looking into retirement. Monday morning he made it official, sending this letter to fellow officers.
During a one-on-one interview, Chief Jones read that letter. In the letter he said, "Having worked directly with many of you and having been privileged to have many of you work for me has been an honor. I take with me many great memories of the department and countless friendships made over the years."
In 2002, Jones became interim chief after a botched SWAT operation where a police officer was killed by friendly fire and the chief at that time resigned.
"The first year was miserable. There were some tragic incidents that had occurred and there was a lot of a need to restructure and rebuild the confidence of the public and the police department."
The interim was later dropped making Jones the chief of police. During his four and half years as Chief, Jones says he has worked to answer the concerns of citizens. Under his watch, the police force grew and the crime rate dropped.
Chief Jones says in order to grow the force he had to lobby the city for dollars. "I will tell you none of this could have been done without support of council or the city manager," Jones said.
February of last year Lubbock Police made national television with the now infamous Chippendales arrests.
"I've said often one of the reasons I'm probably retiring on the 15th is because that's the date the Chippendales are coming back. I'm thinking about calling Scott and seeing if I can emcee that program. I probably won't," Jones joked.
However, February 15 will be the day another picture of a Lubbock Police Chief will need to be added to a wall already honoring 17 past chiefs.
"I will tell you it's not as easy as what ones thinks, because one minute you're going oh ya, this is what I want to do, I'm ready to go. The next minute you're going well I don't know," Jones added.
Chief Claude Jones will leave the Lubbock Police Department February 15th.
Assistant Police Chief Dale Holten is expected to be recommended as Jones replacement at the February 14 city council meeting.
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