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2018 BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY RECIPIENT – PHLLIP JONES

The morning of October 18, 2017 started out as a normal day for School Resource Officer Philip Jones. Jones, the SRO of North Duplin High started his day from home with his regular routine.  While traveling along US Hwy 403, Officer Jones observed and met a public school bus which was loaded with preschoolers. The bus appeared to be broken down just a few miles from the high school. Jones made contact with the driver who insured him that she and all the students aboard the bus were fine. Before Jones could walk back to his patrol car, he stepped across the roadway out of the path of motorists who were again attempting to go around the stranded bus and were entering into the path of on-coming traffic. As Officer Jones was crossing the roadway, an SUV, operated by an unlicensed male subject topped the hill of the ravine exceeding a safe speed and struck him. Jones went into the air and was thrown approximately 25-30 feet from the initial point of impact. The blow Jones received was such an impact that it busted the buckle of his duty belt completely into, ripped his uniform beyond repair, ruined his gun holster and totally destroyed his cell phone which was holstered on his side. Jones was transported to the hospital with severe abdominal pain and injuries. Jones was then airlifted to a trauma center. After several months, Officer Jones was released to return to work on December 4, 2017. Officer Jones suffered severe bruising to his organs, cracked ribs as well as much pain throughout his ordeal. Jones’ bullet proof vest is to be credited for shielding him from further internal injuries as it took the brunt of the impact. The offender was arrested on scene and charged with Operating a Vehicle without a License and Failing to Reduce Speed.

There is no doubt that God was with Officer Jones and the students aboard the school bus on the unfortunate morning of October 18th. He is to be commended for his bravery and selflessness as he risked his own life that morning for the sake and safety of the students aboard the bus.

In recognition of his efforts on that heroic and memorable day, Officer Philip Jones of the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office is the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers 2018 recipient of the Hank Snyder “Beyond the Call of Duty Award”.