Chris Jordan is the City Spotlight for February
Jacksonville High School Resource Officer Chris Jordan is exactly where he wants to be. “I love working with kids,” says Jordan. “I want students to know they can respect, trust and count on police officers to be there to help them. Some are afraid of police due to circumstances outside of doors of this school. I want to give them a positive experience with police and make a difference. I want to positively impact their lives. Some don’t have the best home experiences, and if I am able to turn one or two of them around, I will feel like I’ve accomplished something. Making sure our students feel safe and protected so they can learn and thrive in their learning environment is very important to me. I want to be a mentor for them.” According to Jacksonville High School Principal Russell Waits, “Officer Jordan, lovingly known at JHS as O.J., is an invaluable resource. His presence and relationships with the student body and staff contribute significantly to the calm and safe atmosphere felt at Jacksonville High School. We are indebted and grateful to the Jacksonville Police Department for their continued support.” Jordan is a 1996 graduate of Daphne High School. He earned his associate’s degree from Faulkner State, and then attended Jacksonville State University. Growing up, Jordan always dreamed to work for the FBI. There are a couple of different routes to achieve that goal, and the path that best fit him was working as a police officer for several years. He worked for the City of Lincoln and the City of Weaver as a police officer. When he met his now wife April, his plans changed. He decided to remain local as a police officer and stay in the community. He came to work for the City of Jacksonville in 2007. He later decided he wanted to be a School Resource Officer (SRO). At that time, Duff Manners covered both Kitty Stone Elementary and Jacksonville High. After the school shooting at Sandy Hooks Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, the city decided to hire an additional officer for the high school. Jordan was sent for additional training and hired as SRO at the high school. Jordan and April reside in Weaver. She teaches fifth-grade at Weaver Elementary School. They have two children, Kylee, 16, and Peyton, 10. They attend Mount Zion Baptist Church. When asked about his hobbies, Jordan laughed and replied, “Not much time for that. Both children are active in sports, and I help coach them. Kylee is on a traveling softball and volleyball team as well as plays for her high school. We stay really busy with all that. I do enjoy hunting with my son, Peyton. In addition, we love hanging out with our neighbors and riding ATVs. When we get the chance, we go camping for the weekend to Tennessee with friends and ride the trails at some of the parks there. We really enjoy that.” Jordan’s duties as an SRO include: assisting officer Manners with traffic control in the mornings at Kitty Stone, ensuring conditions at the high school are as safe as possible, being present and available to talk and mentor students, work security at sporting events at the school including all football games, home basketball games and dances, and any event the school feels necessary. If school is not in session for any reason, unless it is a city holiday, Jordan serves as a regular police officer. “Chris Jordan is a vital part of our team at the Jacksonville Police Department. As the department’s School Resource Officer, he ensures the safety of some of the city’s most prized possessions and that is our kids in the Jacksonville City School System,” says Jacksonville Police Chief Marcus Wood. Jordan talks about what a good group of students we have at Jacksonville High School. “Most of the problems we see are just inappropriate behavior with electronics, such as sending photos that shouldn’t be sent, etc.” When asked about future plans, Jordan replied, “I love what I do… why change. I plan on retiring here. I enjoy talking with and working with kids, helping them choose the right path for their lives.” Thank you, Officer Jordan, for ensuring a safe environment for our kids to learn and grow.
Photo & Story by Anita Kilgore