Perspective: Inside A Fallen Officer's Funeral

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Each day when Jerry Jones put on his uniform he answered calls to serve the public.

Wednesday morning, Pastor Arthur Morrison told the people at Jones' funeral, "Jerry Alan Jones has answered another call."

Patrolman Jones initiated a pursuit Saturday night after Brian Good.

Jones' Shift Commander Eric Johnson told mourners that Good was "a violent man, proven he wouldn't be taken easily." He also reassured family, friends and fellow officers that "All of his actions were flawless" and that everyone should be very proud.

Good was shot and killed that night. Patrolman Jones died as a result of friendly fire.

"Regretfully, deadly force was required," Johnson said.

According to Lieutenant Johnson, Jones was running into battle to help the community, and his fellow officers "just as any good cop would do."

"I was proud to be Jerry's shift commander."

Johnson says that they will learn from what happened early that Sunday morning, and by learning they will become better police officers so that Jerry "didn't die in vain."

Lieutenant Johnson asked the members of his shift, who were seated directly behind Patrolman Jones' family to think about two things for the "next few days, hours, weeks, and years."

"Challenge yourself," Johnson said.

"Are we going to allow sorrow, grief...," Johnson asked. "...and second guessing to tear us apart as a group or inside, what we feel in our guts?"

Johnson challenged members of his "B Shift" to celebrate Jones and to remember him for who he was.

"What would Jerry want," Johnson asked. "If we look at it that way, we will all be better off."

Johnson says that on that Saturday night his officers, including Jones, were talking about how they'd made it through four months of night shift, without a single injury.

They were set to go to a different shift in just a few days.

Lieutenant Johnson then spoke directly to Samantha, Jones' widow. He told her, "Jerry was our family, you are our family, we will not abandon you."

Johnson said that Jones radioed in to Metro 911 the same time each day. "Car 107, PR 4292, Unit 155."

Unit 155 was officially retired during the service.

Pastor Arthur Morrison said that service was in Jones' blood; and that while he was a Marine, he was also a member of God's Army.

"He joined another Army, he joined God's Army and was a good solider." Faith first, commitment and dedication, with a witness a lot of young men don't have."

But his love to serve his country and his community was also dearly important.

"He had a call to service, not that he was drafted, but an inward call, a desire," Morrison said. "I believe he served the country well."

A fellow Marine read a letter Jerry wrote to explain to others why he'd chosen that path.

"I love this country, I love what I do," the letter said.

Jones said that he believed the perception of Marines is that "we are blood-thirsty killers." The letter continued with, "I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth."

Jones wrote that he wanted to help people, not kill them.

"We sleep in mud so you can sleep in a warm bed."

"We carry weapons so you can carry a bible."

He concluded the letter asking for prayers, "When you lie down in your warm bed tonight, say a prayer for us."

Jones said he served along with his fellow Marines so others didn't have to.

Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster was undeniably emotional as he told the crowd he was honored to know Jerry Jones.

He apologized for not being able to look up and speak. "We will grieve, but we will learn from this," Webster said through tears. "We will return stronger than ever."

Everyone who spoke said they took comfort in the fact that Jerry Jones was a true believer in Jesus Christ. Pastor David Keeney said that Jones parents told him that Jerry became a believer when he was five or six years old.

Pastor Morrison said, "Jerry Alan was prepared for this hour." He encouraged other officers in attendance to do the same thing.

Morrison said that a family member actually tried to talk Jerry out of becoming a police officer.

Pastor Keeney went to the Jones' wedding. He is the Pastor of Elkview Baptist Church where Jerry and his wife Samantha are members. He passed along some thoughts from Samantha, including:

Family meant everything to Jerry. He lived to go out and help others, and preferred nothing in return. He didn't take many things in life too seriously, but when it came to faith, family and service, the utmost seriousness was given.

Keeney went on to say that Jerry was a dreamer, but had many plans for the future.

According to Samantha, and passed on through Keeney mourners, we also learned that Jerry was considerate, old-fashioned and kept chivalry going.

Keeney said, "Sam, I know he loved you dearly."

Jerry also loved the scripture. Pastor Morrison's wife was his Sunday School teacher who offered prizes for memorizing bible verses. "Jerry Alan Jones got it each time," Morrison said.

"He lived his life for Jesus Christ and he served unreservedly," Keeney said. Keeney and mourners laughed when he spoke of a heated discussion at work when "Jerry didn't even cuss!"

Keeney went on to say, "That's just the kind of man he was."

"I think if you knew him you could say it's been a privilege," Pastor Morrison told the crowd. "The men of the Charleston Police Department are grieving now, we need to pray for them."

"Jerry Alan gave the greatest measure of devotion to the Lord, his church, his country and his family."

That same devotion was shown through the brotherhood of officers. Members of the Ashland and Ironton Police departments came to Wednesday's services at Municipal Auditorium.

Each officer walked in one-by-one. Four at a time saluted the open, flag draped casket.

Pictures of a young boy flashed on the screen above the casket before the service began.

Outside the auditorium were hand-written notes from his nephews and wedding pictures.

Jones and his wife celebrated their one year anniversary in July.

"He served the Lord... He served his country, until he gave his life."


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