MOUNT VERNON — Police Detective Sgt. Jeff Jacobs retired Friday after 21 years with the department, 11 as a patrolman and the last 10 as a detective.
He said the highlight of his career was probably the last 10 years in the Investigations Bureau.
“We had some major drug deals — each one the biggest yet at the time — such as the cocaine bust in Apple Valley or the drug raids in 2004 and 2006. I also worked on a couple homicides,” Jacobs said.
Mount Vernon has been a nice city to work in, he said, big enough to be interesting, but not so big that you see things like homicides and drug deals every day.
Jacobs, 51, said he had no specific plans at this time, except to spend time with the family, and play golf and other sports.
“Maybe I’ll eventually look for something else to do, but for right now it’s sports and church,” he said.
He and his wife, Deanah, have four sons and five grandchildren, none of whom still live in Knox County, so they plan to do some traveling to visit them, and also to visit her family in North Carolina.
Jacobs grew up in the Mansfield area and after leaving the Army after eight years, was attending Ohio State part-time to complete his teaching certificate. He was also working as an office manager at a roofing company in Mansfield.
A sister in Marion told him about an ad she saw for a police test in Mount Vernon, so he came down and took it. He wound up being offered the job and accepted it.
“I had never even been to Mount Vernon before. I had to ask my dad how to get there,” Jacobs said.
He also tested in Ashland and Delaware, and was offered a job in Ashland, but he liked what he had seen so far in Mount Vernon and decided to stay.
“Mount Vernon has really great people. It’s been a real pleasure to work here.”
In a brief get-together Friday, Chief Mike Merrilees presented Jacobs with a plaque to honor his years of service and his fellow officers (and wife) had some fun with retirement gifts.
Deanah gave him a pair of bright orange tennis shoes, a token of a pair he used to have and would often wear when he was called out to a case while off-duty. Young officers would be told they would recognize the detective by his orange shoes.
Det. Matt Dailey gave him a picture frame, “to replace the frames I damaged” switching pictures in the frames in Jacobs’ office.
The officers also presented him with a black toilet seat, signed by all of them, and supposedly taken from “the restroom closest to his office,” which they referred to as his “auxiliary office.”
Merrilees thanked Jacobs for his service, then added, “It’s nice to see someone get his time in and still have his health and sanity left.”
On a more serious note Dailey, who has worked with Jacobs for 17 years, speaking for the other officers, thanked Jacobs for his guidance over the years and credited him with being “a great mentor to all of us ... you taught us a lot.”
“This has been a fantastic place to work,” Jacobs said, “A fantastic 21 years.”