ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — Enterprise police Chief T.D. Jones cleaned out his desk on Friday morning.
Jones has spent the last 22 years running the department. He previously retired from the Montgomery police force after spending 22 years there before coming to the City of Progress.
It’s a bittersweet time for the 66-year-old.
“It’s a little hard,” “I got to figure out how to be a civilian. I’ve been a sworn officer for 44 years so that’s a big step on to kind of figure out how that’s going to go in my life.”
Jones said the worst day of his career, and probably his lifetime, was March 1 of ’07. That’s when a tornado struck Enterprise High School, destroying the school and claiming eight students’ lives.
The EF-4 tornado with winds possibly as high as 260 miles per hour made a direct strike on the school. The roof on hall three collapsed crushing eight students to death.
The sights and sounds from that afternoon continues to haunt Jones.
“Sad day in the city of enterprise,” he said. “Right now I can see the pictures, and I can see the young people leaving the school on foot and going toward hillcrest. It’s just a vivid picture in my mind.”
The chief said he’ll mostly miss his employees and serving the residents of Enterprise, a city Jones and his wife, Sharon, and two children and now grandchildren call home.