Suwanee Police Chief Mike Jones Honored as Georgia Chief of the Year at Capitol
Suwanee Police Chief Mike Jones was honored on March 14, 2019 at the State Capitol as Georgia’s 2018-2019 Chief of the Year. Senators Renee Unterman and John Albers sponsored Senate Resolution 47, commending and congratulating Chief Jones for 45 years of outstanding service. Click here to read the full proclamation.
“I’m very honored and humbled to be here today,” said Chief Jones. “But you can’t do it by yourself. I have good people working for me, I have a wonderful wife who supports what I do, and I have a council and a mayor that supports our police department and gives us the things we need to do our jobs. We believe in community policing – building relationships with our people – and we have that in Suwanee.”
Chief Jones received the recognition from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP) at the GACP Summer Training Conference in Savannah in July 2018.
Jones began his career in law enforcement as a dispatcher with the City of Rome Police Department in 1974, working his way through the ranks all the way to Major. He accepted the position of Chief of Police with the City of Suwanee and was sworn in on January 1, 1999, after 24 years of service in Rome.
During his tenure as Chief of Police, the Suwanee Police Department has more than doubled in size. The department became CALEA accredited in 2010 – one of just 56 in Georgia – and was reaccredited in 2013 and in 2016 with Excellence. The agency received state certification in 1999 and state recertification in 2004, 2009, 2013, and 2016. In 2016 the department was awarded the Phyllis Goodwin Agency of the Year by the Georgia Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates.
A leader throughout the state, Chief Jones was elected to serve as vice president of the GACP in 2005 and served as president of the association from 2008-2009. Chief Jones continues to serve on multiple GACP committees and sits on the Reinhardt College Police Academy Board, Gwinnett Technical College Advisory Board, and holds a position on the 911 Committee. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy #155 and a graduate of the Georgia Command College #14. Chief Jones has been teaching all levels of law enforcement since the 1980s, sharing his extensive experience and knowledge with his fellow officers.
“Because of the example he provides, Chief Jones is able to demand that his department remain ethical, knowledgeable, and professional [the Suwanee PD motto] each and every shift,” remarked Officer Jeff Covert. “Chief Jones takes every opportunity to share his expectations and remind his officers that his door is always open. His genuine concern is a hallmark that continues to foster loyalty to him and his expectations, which provides the City of Suwanee a police department that benefits the entire community.”
Chief Jones is a strong proponent of the community policing philosophy and emphasizes the importance of positive relationships with the community he proudly serves. He established a P.A.C.T. (Police And Citizens Together) program in 2001 as a tool used to build trust within the community and to enhance its community watch program. Due to the success of the P.A.C.T. program, it has been implemented by other agencies in metro Atlanta and around the world, garnishing multiple national and international awards.
“Chief always seeks to forge relationships between the department and the community. He believes that a community where police and citizens interact builds the best city possible,” said dispatcher Nathan Deans.
In addition to the successful residential P.A.C.T. program, department hosts a Citizens Police Academy twice a year, has an active Explorers program, utilizes citizen volunteers in the Park Ambassador program, and staffs C.O.P.S. (Caring Officers Providing Support) in the local elementary schools. Most recently, Chief Jones has begun working closely with the Korean-American Council, a group of Korean-American business owners and stakeholders to build bridges between the Korean community and the police.
“I have had the pleasure to work for Chief Jones for the past eleven years,” said Sergeant Robert Thompson. “During my swearing in as an officer, Chief Jones told me to remember three important things, in this order: God, family, and work. I have heard Chief Jones state those words to every officer that has worked for the department since then. Chief Jones doesn’t just say those words, he lives them. I have seen the chief go out of his way on multiple occasions to help officers in need. Chief Jones is a true leader, always looking out for the officers, their families, and the community.”
Top: Suwanee Police Captain Cass Mooney
Second row, left to right: Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette, Senator Zahra Karinshak, President of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and City of Jefferson Chief Joe Wirthman , Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan
Bottom row, left to right: Senator PK Martin, Senator Renee Unterman, Chief Mike Jones, Mrs. Debbie Anne Jones, Senator John Albers