Several months ago, I was in a pursuit up in Natchitoches Parish following this car at about 90 to 100 miles an hour; all of a sudden, the driver sits up in the window as if she was falling backwards out of a boat, and she fell out of her car onto the blacktop and rolled down the highway several hundred feet.
Public Safety Person of the Week: Louisiana State Trooper John David Jett
Education & Experience: McNeese University in Criminal Justice, Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office while in college, been with the Louisiana State Police since April 1999.
Family: four children, Cameron 9, Rannon and Colby (twins) 5, and Ally, 4.
Why did you decide to become involved with public safety?
I come from a family of police officers, starting with my uncle F.C. Jett; my dad, John M. Jett; and my uncle David Jett, all of whom are retired Louisiana state troopers. I was inspired by my dad, retired trooper John M. Jett, as a little boy. I remember thinking, 'I am going to be a policeman just like my dad.' Actually my dad, Uncle David and myself were troopers together, even though at different troops, for three years, until my dad retired. I always wanted to be able to make a difference, just as those before me have done.
What is your greatest challenge in your work?
My greatest challange is always being the professional that I have been trained to be. You have to learn to police without letting your emotions police you. We are out there to write tickets, because a law has been violated, not because we are angry at the individual receiving the ticket, but because this is our job.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career in public safety?
My advice for anyone interested in going into public safety is to make sure it is what you want, because you have to love it or it will not work. In my case it is the blue blood that runs through my veins. It is a way of life for me.
What do people not know about your job?
The things that people don't realize are the hours we spend by ourselves with no activity at all and then, all of a sudden, you get activity from everywhere and the hours we spend in court, after we have worked 12 hours the night before and have to be back at work when court is over. There are a lot of things people don't realize we do as police officers, but it is our job, and I, for one, love my job.
What is your most memorable moment in your career and why?
Several months ago, I was in a pursuit up in Natchitoches Parish following this car at about 90 to 100 miles an hour; all of a sudden, the driver sits up in the window as if she was falling backwards out of a boat, and she fell out of her car onto the blacktop and rolled down the highway several hundred feet. Of course, I was right behind her in my unit and had to stop the unit to keep from running over her. I jumped out of the car. She was not moving or breathing. I called for Life Air, knowing she probably would not make it. Then all of sudden she took a deep breath and tried to get up. To make a long story short, she LIVED. This was amazing and a day as a trooper that I will never forget. There have been many memorable moments in my career, some I would not want brought up again, things I would rather forget than to remember, but I am sure this is a day I will never forget.
Want to nominate a Vernon Parish resident for Public Safety Officer of the week? Call Tammy Sharp at 337-239-3444!