For much of Greg Jones’ extensive career in law enforcement, he shunned opportunities for promotion, which might seem to be an unusual quality for a person who was named chief of the Bosque Farms Police Department last Thursday.
“I always shied away from (promotion) because as my career being a patrolman, or as an investigator or detective, I was always on the streets,” Jones said.
His love for this type of work as an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department led him to decline numerous requests by one of his superiors to take the sergeant’s exam and move up in rank during his 10 years on the force.
After he was hired by Louis Burkhard, the former Bosque Farms chief, to take a patrolman/investigator position in 2001, he once again declined an offer to be promoted to sergeant.
But when the chief came calling once again in 2005 to tell Jones he wanted him to become a captain, Jones relented.
“The chief said, ‘I need your help,’” he said. “I said, ‘I know you do. I’m here for whatever you need me to do.’ At that point, I realized that I had something to give more than what I was currently giving.”
During the intervening years of sitting behind his desk and learning administrative duties, Jones prepared himself for the appointment of acting chief when Joe Stidham stepped down in May for personal reasons, and then the permanent appointment that was approved by the Bosque Farms Village Council.
“In my career, I had investigated most crimes in one way or another,” he said. “As a police officer, I knew the job very, very well. When I was placed in a position of rank, I felt I had to learn the job all over again. I spent a lot of time catching up, particularly with administrative duties.
“I’ve had five years of practice of being involved with our police department here preparing me for the chief’s job.”
Jones now heads up a department of 13 officers — whom he describes as “a very good crew” — whose charge is to offer police services to Bosque Farms and Peralta.
While he says his officers can offer good services to these communities, he admits that when someone takes a vacation or is injured, the department becomes a little stretched. So he would like to be able to pencil in a couple of officers to the budget, a duty that is the only aspect of the chief’s job he was not familiar with.
One of the issues facing Jones is the perception that Bosque Farms is just a lazy, crime-free community.
“We have somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000 cars that travel through Bosque Farms per day,” Jones said. “And in my nine years of being here, we’ve had every kind of crime as Albuquerque, it’s just not the same volume.
“But there’s that mentality that nothing happens in Bosque Farms. I’ve had people ask me, ‘Why do you wear body armor, are you afraid something will happen in Bosque Farms?’ There’s plenty that goes on here, it’s just a challenge to educate the public.”
Jones was born and bred in Texas, but he fell in love with New Mexico once he arrived in 1973.
He now feels he’s a Bosque Farms resident through and through.
He enjoys the role police play in “The Farm,” which not only consists of performing traditional police duties, but getting to know the public in a helping and caring way.
“People here wave to the officers and we wave back,” Jones said. “They appreciate us because they’ve learned that when they call we come running. We take our fair share of calls, but we usually still have time here to do things that are more community oriented.
“I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to live,” Jones said. “This is my hometown.”
Source: Curt Gustafson/News-Bulletin
Category: The New Chief