Campus Life

Penn State police officer retires after 31 years of service

Jeff Jones as a rookie police officer, left. Jones on his last day of service after 31 years with Penn State, right. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After a 34-year career in law enforcement with 31 years of service at Penn State University Police, Officer Jeffery Jones has retired.

As Jones surveyed his career on his last day of service, April 30, he said he naturally will always remember the sad cases — however, he tries to focus on the cases with positive outcomes, like when he was able to locate a student who had been missing for three days.

“I was able to track her down and she was OK and her parents were very appreciative,” Jones said. “She was going through some personal challenges, but she was OK, and just being able to help and bring things to a positive conclusion meant a lot.”

Jones – a Penn State graduate and Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, native – joined Penn State police on March 14, 1988, after working as a police officer for three years at the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world, in Houston.

“What I liked most about working in law enforcement was helping others in need. I tried to help people out even if they had made a mistake,” Jones said.

Police officer is commonly assessed as one of the most stressful professions. Jones tried to combat that with laughter.  

“I was always willing to introduce some humor on the job with co-workers because it can be a good release for a job with daily stressors,” Jones said.

During his time at Penn State, Jones has cultivated many friendships, which he describes as one of the best aspects of his law enforcement career.

“Police work is more than a job, it’s a way of life, and I viewed my co-workers as family,” Jones said. “The friendships, the bonds, the support, and the camaraderie were all so important. I’ll miss the camaraderie, and I have many friends throughout the University that I’ve made over the years, who I’ll also miss.”

Deputy Chief Tom Sowerby, station commander at University Park, attended Penn State with Jones and has worked alongside him for more than 30 years.

“Jeff has a been a loyal and dedicated professional police officer. His determination and resolve to assist those in our community, who were in need of services, has been remarkable,” Sowerby said.

Charles Noffsinger, assistant vice president of University Police and Public Safety, also praised Jones’ three decades of service.

“We are grateful for Jeff’s dedicated service, not only to University Police and Public Safety, but to the entire Penn State community, and we wish him a long, happy retirement,” Noffsinger said.

In retirement, Jones will have time to travel, hunt and fish, while also spending time with his wife, Laura, and children Morgan and Ethan.

“The three keys to helping me complete 34 years in police work were: my faith, my family and my close co-workers,” Jones said. “The heroes of this job are the close friends and family members who stand by you.”

Last Updated August 06, 2020