Philanthropy Feature – Justin Jones ’12

“The reason I give is simple. Someone I did not know gave to the College to help make my education affordable. Without the academic scholarship, I likely would not have been able to attend Wesleyan. There are future students out there who are in the same position. By donating, I can give back to help make their educations more affordable.

“I joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors three years ago. This has been an opportunity to give back to KWC. I am extremely grateful for my time and experiences at Wesleyan, and this is another way I can return the favor. My favorite activity with the board has been providing dinner to the athletes over Christmas break. I remember being at school during breaks and missing home and home-cooked meals. These students were very appreciative. We were also able to connect with them on a personal level. They learned about KWC alumni, and we were fortunate to learn about them.”

Why did you attend KWC?
“Lairy Nofsinger ’58 was the main reason I attended KWC. He was a proud alumnus from Hopkins County who taught me how to swim as a child. More than likely, many alumni from Hopkins County have similar stories because Lairy was dedicated to promoting our College. He was resilient in his recruiting efforts and took every chance to get me on campus. During my first visit to KWC, I noticed it was different than many of the colleges I had toured. Lauren (Bishop) Wood ’08 was my admissions counselor, and I could tell how much she loved Wesleyan. Seeing everyone’s love for the College made me want to take a second tour. On my second visit to campus, several of the students remembered my name, and Wesleyan felt like home.”

How did KWC shape you and prepare you for your life and career?
“KWC provided me with a great education, but more importantly, it provided a foundation for leadership. As a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Student Government Association and the Ambassador Program, I developed leadership qualities and a desire to positively influence others. I took many of these roles early on in my time at Wesleyan. I wanted to graduate in three years, and I wanted to make the most of my experience while there. I used those tools to gain employment with a great agency and have risen in the ranks over the past 12 years.”

Tell us about your career.
“I was a criminal justice and criminology major, and I started at the Madisonville Police Department (MPD) in 2012 as a patrol officer. I worked as a field training officer and drug recognition expert during my time on patrol. During my training as a drug recognition expert, I learned that I was the youngest expert in the world at that time. After three years of patrol, I moved to the Narcotics Division as a detective. After a year in that role, I was persuaded to apply for a sergeant position. I was selected and became the youngest sergeant in the history of the MPD. I later became the youngest lieutenant in the department’s history, and two and a half years ago, I became the department’s youngest major.

“I am currently the major of the Operations Division and fall directly under the chief of police in our rank structure. I supervise the entire Patrol Division, K9s and the Narcotics Division. Most days I get to do very little crime-fighting. My role now is more administrative, and I provide support to make sure the men and women of our agency have the tools they need to follow the vision and mission of the department. I believe our department is among the best departments in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and I want to recognize our officers at the MPD for their service to our community. 

“I was selected to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the 289th class at the FBI National Academy. This is a ten-week leadership course for the top 1% of police executives across the world and provides the best education and training available for law enforcement executives. Many topics of leadership and current issues in law enforcement are presented. Attendees must complete physical fitness testing while at Quantico. I was the youngest member of my class.

“I have been fortunate to be recognized several times. Perhaps the most important award I received was a Life Saving Medal, given by the Kentucky House of Representatives because I was able to provide CPR to a child who would have passed away without medical attention. This incident has meant the most to me personally because God placed me there at the right time. 

“I have received several awards from the Governor’s Office for my enforcement actions on impaired driving and occupant safety. Over my career, I have received the award for Officer of the Year and Top Shot at the City of Madisonville. In 2017, I also received national recognition for seizing the largest amount of synthetic drugs in the United States on one traffic stop. While I am fortunate to have received these recognitions, it would not have been possible without the other members of our department and the support of my family.”

I married my beautiful wife, Miranda, in 2017. We welcomed our intelligent and adorable daughter, Tatum Grace, in 2021. Without Miranda’s support, none of my achievements would have been possible.”