Police chief brings FBI training back to Oxford


Observer file photo

Oxford Police Chief John Jones says the department has been saving funds to cover the $35,000 contract.

By Kasey Turman

After 10 weeks of college-level classes and physical training, Oxford Police Chief John Jones returned to Oxford with a phone full of contacts and a head full of FBI training.

At the beginning of this year, Jones went to the FBI national academy in Quantico, Virginia for a law leadership course. The course combined classroom work and physical fitness around the academy and neighboring Marine Corps base. Chief Jones said the physical training was tailored to the individual officer’s fitness.

Jones was able to attend the program through a nomination from a local FBI regional office. After being nominated, he was put on a waitlist that took a year to get through, he said.

Surrounded by other individuals in his field, Jones said he made connections that can help him in the future while taking classes that will allow him to create a plan for possible events in Oxford.

“Now, I have people who I get texts from every day that I could call and say hey, what would you guys do in this situation?” Jones said. “The courses are important as well. They really helped me be prepared for critical incidents that might happen internally with our department.”

Jones said the command law participants came from 47 states and 29 countries to attend the program.

“You really got to see what folks deal with and how it’s so different maybe in their country than ours,” Jones said. “It’s a lot of the same issues. Whether you’re a big agency or a small agency or from the western United States or the eastern United States.”

The program fosters a relationship between local police departments and regional FBI agencies. Jones said the course prepares the two forces to work together on local issues.

Assistant City Manager Jessica Greene said that allowing Jones to leave for the 10-week program showed the city’s faith in him and how much Oxford values the advancement of its police department. 

“We had to give him leave to go and do that experience,” Greene said. “We had to promote an acting chief in his absence so it’s a big investment for the city.”

Jones said he’s not itching to use all of the information from the course, which included reacting to officer-involved shootings or the death of an employee, in the city where he’s been an officer since 2002.

“Hopefully those [incidents] are things that we don’t have to deal with very often here in Oxford,” Jones said.