Oxford police chief receives surprise recognition following FBI academy graduation

OXFORD — Police Chief John Jones was officially recognized by the city at Tuesday’s council meeting following his graduation from the FBI National Academy, a continued-learning program for highly experienced law enforcement officials.

“It’s kind of a pinnacle of your career type of thing,” Jones told the Oxford Press. “I had a great experience and got to meet people from all over the world in law enforcement and I’m just really looking forward to using some of those skills here.”

Jones became the first Oxford attendee in 20 years and the seventh officer in department history to go through the 10-week program meant to sharpen and develop communication, leadership and fitness acumen. Nationally, fewer than 1% of officers have had the opportunity to attend.

“It’s a pretty big academy that he was accepted into,” said Oxford Assistant City Manager Jessica Greene. “We’re really proud of him and his accomplishments at that really prestigious education course that he just went through.”

Jones said he’d be bringing back “better communication skills, better leadership skills,” from his time at the academy in Quantico, VA, along with the network connections he made with an expansive group of law enforcement officials and the insights he was able to glean from them.

“You learn from the folks you’re there with from across the nation who have dealt with [various] things just as much from them as you [learn from] the instructors,” Jones said. “I think it also helped me better prepare for if we have a critical incident here in Oxford, just learning from my classmates who dealt with those.”

Jones said that, even though critical incidents are an irregular occurrence in Oxford, “We do have things that happen that this [program] will help me be better prepared for as a leader; I can take care of our folks better and we can deliver a better public safety product to the community.”

Jones graduated the 285th iteration of the FBI National Academy on March 16 and shook hands with FBI Director Christopher Wray during a ceremony that coincided with Miami University students’ official St. Patrick’s Day celebration — “That’s another benefit, I got to miss Green Beer Day,” Jones joked.

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