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Honorary Police Chief Jones vows to 'keep bad guys off streets'

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Friday, February 10, 2012

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Jade Jones showed he could enjoy his job as honorary Police Chief for a day. Jade was getting ready to take a ride in a police vehicle with Sgt. Randle Ballenger.

Jade Jones showed he could enjoy his job as honorary Police Chief for a day. Jade was getting ready to take a ride in a police vehicle with Sgt. Randle Ballenger.



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Criminals beware. Honorary Chief Jade Jones means business when he says his priority is keeping the streets of Greer free of crime.

Criminals beware. Honorary Chief Jade Jones means business when he says his priority is keeping the streets of Greer free of crime.



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It's official. Mayor Rick Danner, left, and Police Chief Dan Reynolds hold a swearing in ceremony for Jade. Jade's grandparents bid the highest at Big Thursday for this prize. 

Steve Owens / City of Greer

It's official. Mayor Rick Danner, left, and Police Chief Dan Reynolds hold a swearing in ceremony for Jade. Jade's grandparents bid the highest at Big Thursday for this prize. 

Honorary Police Chief Jade Jones gave the thumbs up to to the Greer Police Department Thursday and reported "There are no bad guys on the street today."

Jade reported to Greer City Hall and assumed his unofficial duties with a swearing in ceremony performed by Mayor Rick Danner and Greer Police Chief Dan Reynolds.  Jade's photo replaced Reynolds' at City Hall and visitors were greeted with the city's TVs showing the 5-year-old with a "Welcome Chief Jade Jones" slide.

A press conference was held to introduce Jade.

Jade's big day was a reward from his grandparents, Greg and Stephanie Jones, submitting the winning bid at Big Thursday last year for Police Chief for a Day. A year earlier he was Fire Chief for a Day.

There wasn't any misunderstanding who was the center of attention Thursday. Jade wore the official red shirt emblazoned with the Greer PD logo and a hat, that at times, he had to peek out from under. He received a plaque with his name engraved and a badge. And Jade was given a toy police cruiser with Greer Police written on it. And a coffee mug, just like the ones Greer officers use.

The duty at hand for Jade said was crystal clear. "I'm taking in bad guys today."

Jade's passion for police can be traced to the 1993 Burt Reynolds movie, "Cop and A Half" . A small 8-year-old kid witnesses a murder and offers to help the police, if they make him a cop, too. They do and the bad guys were caught. "He watches that movie all the time," his mother, Arlene Freeman, said. "That's how he got a liking to police."

Jade also routinely checked out the books "Police Dog" and "Policeman Lou and Policewoman Sue" as often as he could from the library. The "Batman and Robin" movie also reinforced Jade's desire to watch and read all things police.

"He'll definitely be a police officer some day," Freeman said. "He's obsessed with anything to do with police."

Jade toured the police station, including a holding cell, which he quickly went in and out, his mother said. "We are so proud of him, When he put his hand on the Bible and took the oath he was so calm. He was in awe of everything. I don't think he blinked all day."

Chief Reynolds took honorary "Chief Jones" to Wild Ace Pizza for lunch where Lt. Jim Holcombe and Sgt. Randle Ballenger attended with Jade's grandparents and parents. 

"He was good and fair to me. He was very professional. Very grown up," Reynolds said when asked how "Chief Jones" was performing his duties.

Jade appeared most comfortable in the police vehicle sitting next to Ballenger. Alan Jones, Jade's dad, said Ballenger showed Jade what many of the dials and switches represented and then gave a tour of Greer's jurisdiction. 

There were no promises of a siren in the city unless, Ballenger said, "Only if we see bad guys." 

"We had no idea he was going to have all this," Freeman said. "They didn't tell us anything when they called for his sizes and told us what day to bring Jade."

Making sure Jade was rewarded with a day to remember also illustrated the Greer PD's visible support for Big Thursday and the funding it distributes to local charities. 

Freeman said Jade wanted to make one stop on the way to City Hall Thursday. "I want to stop and get coffee and doughnuts, just like the police," Jade said.

People mentioned in this article. Click a name to view more articles for that person.

Ed Driggers

Businesses mentioned in this article.

City of Greer

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