Lt. Daniel Jones wins our First Responder Award for his work on police stress

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – First Responders spend their lives working to keep the rest of us safe in many ways.

But some of them go a step further.

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One of them is Lieutenant Daniel Jones of the Chattanooga Police Department, who’s our First Responder of the month.

Here’s News 12’s Bill Mitchell.

This is what you normally see police officers doing..keeping the peace. But that’s just on the surface. And Lt. Danny Jones knows how the job takes a toll on the individual officers. That’s why he and his team started a Peer Support Unit.

LT. DANIEL JONES, CHATTANOOGA POLICE DEPARTMENT
“Unfortunately, and this is a sad statistic, police officer’s life expectancy is about 59. And a lot of that has to do with the chemicals we deal with on a daily basis. And when I say Chemicals..I’m talking about the everyday stress.”

Four Chattanooga police officers died last year of a heart attacks. The course he teachers is how to deal with that stress. Officers from all over the state come to these sessions.
Lt. Jones was recognized by the Rotary club recently for his contributions. But, there’s yet another side to this Officer.

LT. JONES  “my wife and I are all about service. And we understand who we are because of who we are in Christ. And so, a long time ago I was over the unit that unfortunately had to do with a lot of folks.. gang members..and honestly I was tired of seeing kids get hurt and injured without knowing what their eternal salvation was.”

Danny and his wife began working with the program Hope for the Inner City. And they still do. The photos are of their work outside of his police work.
So what is his daily job at the police department? Danny is in charge of special operations.

DANNY  “for sure, yes sir, no this is an ancillary job..nothing to do with my everyday work here at the police department.”

It’s hard to summarize his work..but we wanted to know his number one philosophy for life.

DANNY  “you know the biggest thing I would say for anyone, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a police officer, or if you’re John Q. public..the biggest thing I can tell anybody to do is understand one simple thing…and that is you need to talk about it.”

SO, Lt. Daniel Jones, we salute you and your work, on and off duty….as our First Responder of the Month.

JAMES WETTERMARK “First responders are not just the professionals who save our lives, and put out fires and stop crime. They are also our neighbors. It’s an honor on behalf of Wettermark and Keith to honor these first responders.”

In Chattanooga, Bill Mitchell News 12 Now.