Capt. Jarvis Jackson--Officer on a Mission
After 31 years on the job, it might be hard to bring your “A” game every day. Hard, that is, if your profession isn’t a calling. A mission. A passion so fulfilling that work doesn’t feel like work. So it is for Capt. Jarvis Jackson of the Gretna, LA, police department.
I’m sure he’s seen, reacted to and prevented his share of violent crime. And I’m quite sure he’s received more than the usual number of commendations having exhibited the bravery and dedication worthy of his captain’s rank. But I am going to bet that more than any award pinned to his uniform, it’s the one in his hand that brings him the most reward—the HIGH FIVE.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Capt. Jackson. After all, it was a viral Facebook video that brought him to our attention. A woman on her way to work noticed a police officer helping kids cross the street. He was holding handmade placards telling them they’re “special” and “amazing” and “champions.” He was so animated— dancing and marching step by step with the kids until is was clear to the observer that he believed they believed today was going to be a good day. A random act of kindness, only not random at all.
With the support and approval of Chief Arthur Lawson, Capt. Jackson targets his efforts. His radar hones in on children, the next generation he hopes will forge a positive relationship with the police in their neighborhoods. Things have changed recently, Jarvis said. He senses it and is sensitive to it. When he first started visiting the schools not that long ago, he said kids were literally afraid he was there to “arrest them, shoot them or take them away.” He was saddened and frustrated but not even close to defeated; rather, he was motivated to personally show them what it means to protect and serve.
Months have passed and now instead of fearful faces, he’s met with smiles and hugs. On Halloween, he doled out at least as many high-fives and pats on the back as he did candy bars. Most of the kids were dressed as super heroes— “strong, amazing, special champions.” Clearly, Capt. Jarvis Jackson is making an impression when he visits these kids…bringing his “A” game to every school.
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For video of Capt. Jarvis: