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Those who keep us safe

Those who keep us safe: Deputy Robert Jackson

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warren county Deputy Robert Jackson

Warren County Deputy Robert Jackson has spent his life serving not only our local community but our country as well. For his lifetime of service, we chose him as our featured subject in this edition of Those Who Keep Us Safe.

Born for duty

Deputy Robert Jackson comes from a military family and is a fourth-generation military officer and third-generation law enforcement officer. Since high school, Jackson wanted to join, as his father and forefathers had. Heavily inspired by his father, who fought in Vietnam and his grandfather, who had fought in the Second World War, Jackson continued the family tradition and joined the navy in 1979.

“I knew exactly what I was going to do after I got out of high school,” began Jackson. “Go in, get your education, and let the military pay for it.”

His time in the navy would lead him to Iraq and Afghanistan before leaving the service for the first time around 1989.

After the events of Sep. 11, 2001, Jackson joined the military again out of a duty to aid. He served as an operations officer, training recruits, and retired in 2014.

Jackson joins law enforcement

Jackson first joined law enforcement in 1991 at the Vicksburg Police Department and worked for over 12 years as an officer, after which he went to work for the state as a criminal investigator. Soon, Jackson started working in internal affairs in the state agency but became disinterested due to his long travels covering 82 state counties.

“I spent more time on the road than I did at home,” said Jackson.

He and his wife sat down and discussed a change for him. His wife suggested he speak with Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

“I went and talked to him, and, at that time, Chief Deputy Jeff Riggs,” said Jackson. “They hired me on in 2017. I’ve been with them ever since.”

Jackson started working patrol for Warren County and was approached by Sheriff Pace in 2019 to ask if he wanted to become a traffic officer. Jackson accepted this position, having worked the same position for the City of Vicksburg.

“That’s what I’ve been doing ever since,” said Jackson.

To protect and serve

Deputy Robert Jackson had many moments throughout his career that reaffirmed he was in the right place.

“There have been numerous ones. I can’t remember all of them,” began Jackson. “When I was with the City of Vicksburg, I was the crisis negotiator and I had an opportunity to talk a guy off the Mississippi River Bridge who was wanting to jump because he lost everything at one of the casinos.”

In another incident, the Sheriff’s Department brought him in to talk another individual off of the Yazoo River Bridge.

“He just lost everything and was wanting to commit suicide,” said Jackson.

Jackson has proven to be not only a man of words but a man of action, even in the face of danger. He recalled arriving at a house that was completely engulfed in flames.

“I went in.” Jackson began. “Standing in the foyer was the homeowner and I was able to get them out. The fire department pulls up and tells us the fire actually followed us out the front door.”

Deputy Robert Jackson on the reality of law enforcement

When asked for some golden advice on being in law enforcement, Jackson gave us the following words of wisdom:

“One of the main pieces of advice I have is to forget everything you observe on TV or the movies,” he said.

Law enforcement is nothing like that. He asks everyone not to be the John Wayne or Clint Eastwood of the department. All that is going to do is get you or another officer hurt.

Finally, what happens on the street stays on the road. Jackson shared that his wife, a 911 Dispatcher for many years during the early part of their relationship, made a rule that the moment they stepped into the house at the end of the shift, it stayed outside. The couple vowed not to bring the horror of the job into the home. It stayed outside where it belonged.

According to Jackson, many law enforcement marriages end in divorce because they let the job get involved. His wife, a blessing, has stood by him for 30 years through all he has witnessed in the field.

After so many years in service, Jackson has learned a lot and according to him, “Get an education about the military and the law before you decide to join.” Jackson also says that being patient with people is crucial as many people will provoke you in this life and on the job.

Looking ahead

Jackson recently retired from law enforcement and is looking forward to spending his time in the classroom; teaching.

“I have a master’s degree. I’m in the third year of my doctorate. The professors through the program that I’m currently in are encouraging me into going into teaching because of all my experience,” said Jackson.

His extensive career in the military and law enforcement has given Jackson the tools, the professors feel, that make for a great teacher.

“I’m going to try. I don’t know how it’s going to work but that’s what I am going to try and do.

A thank you

“I’d like to thank Sheriff Pace for the opportunity he gave me back in 2017. I’ve learned a lot from him over the 30 years that we’ve known each other. I’m going to miss everyone and the comradery,” said Jackson. “But, I don’t think I am going to miss the job. It’s time.”

 

 

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