Donald J. Jones (1953 - 2009)
Don Jones (1953-2009)
Lemont Police Commander Donald J. Jones stayed on the job until his big project was done despite the constant pain he felt. He had spearheaded the first national accreditation for the Village's Police Department back in 2003 and he was determined to finish their re-accreditation.
"Realistically, he should not have been at work," said his stepson, Thad Mezyk. "He was in a lot of pain. The clerks said he claimed he was OK. But when he got home, he was in pain, everything was bothering him. He just didn't show it at work. He wanted to get the project done."
Mr. Jones, 55, died of cancer Friday in his Lemont home. He had been a member of the Lemont Police Department for 30 years and was a Commander in charge of investigations and the Department's CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) program. He was the past president of the Illinois Police Accreditation Coalition.
"In the last few months of his life, he was stoic," said Lemont Chief Kevin W. Shaughnessy. "He set an example for all of us to follow. He was a quiet man, who never complained. He was under great adversity, yet he never once took a short cut or took the easy way out and said, 'I don't feel like coming to work today.'" "Mr. Jones had worked on the accreditation for about three years before the Department got it's first rating in 2003," Mezyk said. "He was so into it that he became president of the Illinois Police Accreditation Coalition," he said. "CALEA is a nationwide accreditation body that sets the highest standards for law enforcement, Shaughnessy said. "They just finished our second re-accreditation last month and Don was in charge of that," Shaughnessy said. "He sacrificed himself for the process."
Mr. Jones was born in Chicago on June 29, 1953. He graduated from Lyons Township High School. He had an undergraduate degree in law enforcement and in 1994 graduated from a staff and command program at Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety, according to his wife, Paula Jones. Other survivors include two granddaughters.
C.O.P.S. (Concern of Police Survivors) | National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial | Illinois State Police Memorial Park Foundation