Updated Fri, Aug 9, 2013 8:07 am
In our feature First Response, we highlight the local men and women who are first at the scene in times of need. Lt. Jack Taylor has been with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office since 1978.
What got you into law enforcement?
It was strange, actually, I didn’t really start out wanting to be in law enforcement, but honestly I got out of the military and I had a wife and kids. A friend of mine said I could get paid to go to school and I didn’t believe him. But I had just got out of the Navy and went to Hocking College and they said “yeah, that’s right, we’ll pay you to go to school.”
I went in and said I’d like to know what the cops are doing, so get me into police science. I walked in and we did fingerprinting and photographs and other things and I was just hooked from there.
What is your favorite part of law enforcement?
People. It’s kind of strange, I deal with all walks of life and you find out that there are people that are not so good but there are also excellent people. There are a lot of people who give me information that are the ones I met 15 years ago. There’s a level of trust there that they know I won’t break.
What different careers have you held?
I was a laborer mostly, I worked in the oil fields. I have worked since I was 13 and in school ... but then I did my first tour in the Navy, then I did 18 years with the Army side.
What challenges have you had as a law enforcement officer?
As a law enforcement officer, totality in changes in the law and the rules and regulations. Some aided law enforcement, others did nothing but put up a wall.
What moments stick out to you from your time in law enforcement?
I’ve got several: the homicides we worked when the sheriff first took office, the bank robberies we solved. Then there was the elderly lady (Ota Vincent) in Coolville, when I finally found those men. The only thing the lady could tell me was that she saw a bright light and some wind, but I went through different counties, I dug and I dug and I dug and finally I got a piece of information, and that brought me to all the evidence and those four men are now in prison.
What do you do when you’re not on the job?
I spend it with family, I go out to dinner with them, we go to Blennerhasset Island, it’s a variety of things. Your standard statement is usually “I fish, I golf,” I don’t do those things, I just spend time with my family.
Do you think you’ll leave law enforcement any time soon?
I’ll have 25 years in three years, and I’ll possibly look at retiring. When I get ready to retire, I told the guys to make sure they have a lot of overtime because there are going to be a lot of parties and they’re not going to be for my benefit.