When Cops Helping Cops co-founder
Dave Fowler, an Osceola County
undersheriff, asked Jones to go along on
the organization's first outing, Fowler
thought about it for a few seconds, but
being in a business where he has to make
snap decisions, Jones was use to it.
After the team arrived in the New
Orleans, Deputy Chief James Bryson of
the New Orleans Police Department
invited the men to his home for dinner
and then took them on a tour of New
"There were houses on top of each
other. There were houses in the road,"
Jones said. "There was no electricity,
no water and no sewer services in the
"It definitely struck home of how
terrible this thing was," Jones said.
"It was one thing to see it on
television, but it was another to see it
up close and personal."
But amid the devastation, Jones saw
"One in 10 homes around (Berger's)
home was being worked on while we were
there," Jones said.
The team Jones went with involved
four officers from Michigan and four
from New York. One of the men from New
York was a firefighter who was the only
member of his fire house who didn't die
in the 9/11 attacks.
"Sometimes truth is stranger than
fiction," Jones said of the many stories
he heard during the work trip.
"I enjoy supporting our staff when
they have a chance to help someone
else," said Ottawa County Sheriff Gary
"Jeff is very service-oriented and
that's evident in his work with us,"
Rosema said. "He enjoys what he does
here and that shows in the things he
involves himself with when he's
Although Jones' trip meant his wife,
Larissa, a paramedic with Life EMS
Ambulance in Grand Rapids, would have
extra work with the family, she didn't
"You can't say no to something like
that," said Larissa Jones. "I don't
think I could have lived with myself if
I didn't encourage him to go."
To learn more about Cops Helping
Cops, visit www.copshelpingcops.com.
Contact Tereasa Nims at