SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – Johnnie P. Jones, one of Atlanta’s first black police officers, has died at the age of 93.
Jones died Feb. 27 of heart failure, and representatives from Adams Funeral Services in Savannah said a funeral was held Tuesday morning at the First African Baptist Church.
Jones grew up in Atlanta, married and attended Morehouse College, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He served with the U.S. Army in the South Pacific and applied to work for the Atlanta Police Department after he was discharged. Jones left the force after three years.
His daughter, Elmira Jones Williams, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was not allowed to arrest white people.
“He didn’t like that, because he felt if he could risk his life in the South Pacific, serving his country, he shouldn’t come back and be treated like a second-class citizen,” she said.
Jones moved to Savannah, remarried and finished his studies at Savannah State University and later began working for the Chatham County Housing Authority. He went on to become the first black chairman of the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission.
Jones was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and is survived by his children, his wife of 60 years Parnell M. Jones, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The last surviving of Atlanta’s first eight black police officers, Jones, was buried at the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery.