Vicksburg’s own Penny Jones knew from the beginning that she was destined to help people.
“Originally, I was going to school to be a nurse,” Jones said. “I knew I always wanted to be in the field of helping and giving back to my community.”
Although she thought law enforcement was not in her future, a longtime friend thought differently.
“I was actually talked into becoming a police officer by a great friend of mine who was a police officer,” Jones said.
After 20 years on the force with the Vicksburg Police Department, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. named Jones deputy chief of patrol on Nov. 4, 2019.
She is the mother of two girls, ages 15 and 27. Jones mentioned she serves alongside her 27-year-old daughter, who is also a police officer in Vicksburg.
Asked how she handles her career in a male-dominated field, Jones seemed puzzled.
“I guess I’m not looking at it from that point of view,” she said. “A woman can do anything a man can do, and that has been proven. I stay on top of anything I am supposed to do, and that has helped me in my career.”
Above all else, it is people that motivate this veteran officer.
“Good or bad, people make me want to make Vicksburg a better place every day,” she said.
While her passion is helping all people, domestic violence victims have a special place in Jones’ heart.
“My walk with domestic violence has been something I have been doing since I became a police officer,” Jones said. “I have helped so many victims by simply talking to them and helping them get on their feet.”
Jones said she helps domestic violence victims find jobs, and she continues to be a caring member of their support team even when others have moved on.
“I think people get kind of exhausted in helping these victims,” Jones said. “But if you’ve personally been a victim, you know yourself, and you know you want to get through it.”
Jones finds passion in lifting people up and leading them in the right direction.
“My walk with helping others is not just with domestics,” Jones said. “In all situations, I have always been on the side of helping others.”
Jones also had her take on people’s perception of law enforcement.
“I know people look at law enforcement as, ‘You’re going to jail,’ but it’s not about that,” she said. “We help people first, and we do that all the time.”
“Those who keep us safe” is a series profiling people in Vicksburg and Warren County whose work contributes to our safety, whether on the front lines, in the back office or in positions of leadership in organizations dedicated to serving the community in times of danger and crises. Nominate someone for the series by sending an email to [email protected], letting us know why the community should know about him or her.