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Arthur Jones, Former Bunnell Police Chief And Civic Activist, Is Dead at 61

| October 8, 2013

Just 10 weeks ago, Arthur Jones was among the leaders of a march in Palm Coast, in support of   changes in Florida's Stand Your Ground law in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict. Jones sang hymns and civil rights chants. (© FlaglerLive)

Just 10 weeks ago, Arthur Jones was among the leaders of a march in Palm Coast, in support of changes in Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict. Jones sang hymns and civil rights chants. (© FlaglerLive)

Arthur Jones, Bunnell’s police chief for four years until 2012 and a founder of the Alliance of Involved Ministries, who relished his role as a mentor to children and youth, died this morning. He was 61.

“This is a historic day for both our country and our city,” Bunnell Mayor Catherine Robinson said the November evening in 2008 when the city welcomed Jones as its new chief. Robinson was referring to the fact that the nation had its first black president, and Bunnell had its first black police chief, in a city at times riven by racial divisions.

Arthur Jones when he was Bunnell's police chief.

Arthur Jones when he was Bunnell’s police chief.

Jones resigned in 2012, choosing to focus on family and civic matters, including the mentoring of at-risk youths. He was replaced by Jeff Hoffman, who on Monday began work as a senior commander at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

Jones began his cop’s career at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, where he spent 32 years fulfilling assignments in numerous divisions–including gangs, violent crimes, homicides, officer training–before then-Police Chief Armando Martinez brought him on at the police department, in February 2008. When Martinez became city manager, Jones became chief.

Arthur Jones Sings and Recites Famous Words at July 20 Demonstration in Palm Coast

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“He’s part of the family of the city of Bunnell, and this is quite the shock today to hear this news,” Robinson said Monday afternoon. She had few details about the circumstances of his death, other than that he had been taken to the hospital, possibly because of food poisoning, sometime in the last few days.

“I saw 26 years of law enforcement experience but I also saw in him a person who was very much in touch with the community,” Martinez, reached at his home in Brevard County, said. “I liked the fact that he was a very humanistic human being and looked at everybody as a human being. I was very proud to make him the first African American chief in the history of Flagler County.”

“I will remember his big grin and the fact that he called me his walking buddy,” Robinson said, recalling the the occasion of a Flagler Beach Independence Day parade when she was walking and, seeing her on foot, Jones joined her in the heat (and in uniform), leaving his car behind. “That was special, that was one of the bonds he and I had. He was also a very strong man of faith and spent a lot of time ministering to the community and the children of Bunnell, and I’m sure in other communities.”

Robinson said Jones “walked his faith.”

“Chief Jones was a mentor, a role model to the kids, and he will truly be missed by the community,” City Commissioner John Rogers said.

Martinez said Jones never lost his affinity for Bunnell even after he retired. Jones and his wife lived in Palm Coast. “He had a million dollar smile, he was the type of guy who’d walk into a room and light up a room,” Martinez said. “I know that he was a great father and a great family man. My condolences to his family. He will always be missed by his friends and his relatives.”

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35 Responses for “Arthur Jones, Former Bunnell Police Chief And Civic Activist, Is Dead at 61”

  1. Charles Ericksen Jr says:

    We have lost a good man. I enjoyed the many talks we had, and Arthur’s goals after retirement. Rest in peace , friend,

  2. matt lavette says:

    I recently had some nice talks with the Chief. The man was a saint. He was doing God’s work in the places he is needed most. God always seems to take the good ones first. A huge loss to Bunnell and our community. Please remember his family in your prayers.

  3. Genie says:

    Very sorry to see this headline. He was a good, good man and a good leader in his community.

  4. Ralph Belcher says:

    Say this ISN’T so! Please!

  5. Ella says:

    He was an honorable office and connected with the community in a way that no one else ever has. He gave me a tour of Bunnell and knew the residents by name, asking about family and well being. It is a great loss for our community.

  6. Chief Jones had a heart for the homeless and for those who served the homeless. He was loved and will be missed.

  7. Ray Thorne says:

    Saddened. A good man died today.

  8. Michael King says:

    I didn’t know the man, but know some of his family. So sad to hear this. Prayers to the family. As always Steve, let me know if I can do anything.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Now he can work from the heavens above as an Angel. May Gods love comfort his family and friends. RIP Arthur Jones.

  10. Geezer says:

    Sixty-one is too young to die. Too young for the void and vaccuum of death.
    Mr. Jones now returns to where he was before he came to be.
    This is the fate that awaits all of us.

    It is always sad to see someone go before their time.
    And you know what? It’s never a good time.
    Especially for a beloved figure like this gentleman.

    May he rest in peace, and may his loved ones find solace and courage for the days ahead.

  11. yikes! says:

    Carry On this man of virtues legacy. Saddened to see Florida’s African-Americans ,especially in FLAGLER COUNTY so disenfranchised and scared.

  12. Jack D. Howell says:

    I am proud to say Arthur was a friend of mine. I’m sure he’s with the angels now.

  13. concerned citizen says:

    AJ it was a pleasure working with you. My sincere condolences go out to AJ’s family and friends. He was one of those guys who would do just about anything and go out of his way to help others. Rest in peace now my friend as I know you are looking down and watching over all of us.

  14. IntheKnow says:

    A. Jones was always a nice guy and a well respected man… and out of Bunnell PD and the Sheriff’s Office. He was a good man to his office and his community and he understood his community and their needs better than most. The man will be sorely missed.

  15. Merg says:

    My heart is saddened today…..I can see his smile and hear his laughter….he was a man with a giving spirit and God in his heart….my prayers go out to his family and friends….bless you Chief and may you rest in peace…I will miss you

  16. Pastor Sims Jones says:

    Chief Jones was a real man of God, We talk a lot about the children and people of Bunnell. How best to help and serve them. He came to support what we were doing at the People Helping People Center in Bunnell. He really cared for God’s people and I enjoyed our talks about God and man. I will really miss him but has earthly job is over, and now his heavenly job begins. I know he is happy because he is with Christ.

  17. Just Me says:

    Art always had a kind word, a servant’s heart, was an encourager, and lit up a room with his beautiful smile. He always greeted me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. When in his presence, you felt secure because he was a protector. He will be sorely missed.

  18. Donna Heiss says:

    Very, very sad news. My heart is with his family and all he has touched.

  19. Bill Butler says:

    In a time when true leaders are needed more than ever the loss of this man will be felt by all citizens. The Lord does work in mysterious ways and we do not understand why the Lord does what he does. I am sure Mr. Arthur Jones would tell you the same thing. None of this serves to take away any sadness felt at his passing. There are no words that can be said or written that can either. Time will heal all. Mr. Arthur Jones, Sir, may you rest in peace in the Arms of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

  20. Dee Cunningham says:

    Condolences to the Jones Family. Chief Jones truly cared for those he served. God Bless him and his family.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It was always a pleasure to help Mr. Jones and see his smiling face at work everyday. He was a truly pleasant man. Rest in Paradise.

  22. Perry Mitrano says:

    I had the honor to work with Chief Jones. I never laughed so hard and yet learned so much from his care of others. You will be missed my friend. >Perry

  23. Sheryl France says:

    May I first send his lovely family my deepest heartfelt sympathy, Sasha he was so proud of you and you r grandauther he loved this little girl as well as his son from sunrise and all his family and grandchildren. Arthur Jones was one of the finest law enforcement officers I have ever met. Not only did he love the community of Bunnell, and Flagler but truly cared about the people., His loving character, always with a big smile, always, there to help anyone at a moments notices. Mr. Jones was always out on the streets interacting with the community as his well as working with his beloved Association of International Ministries. His love for young people working with them was a strong conviction he is a God loving man and also considered a true friend not only to myself but many, God must have needed another angel to look over us in this troubled world we all live in. May love and peace be with the family as well as the community. He will missed by all and we will never forget his million dollar smile and beautiful aura the surrounded him. He will be in Heaven watching over all of us

  24. Barbara Barrett says:

    I worked with Art (Artie, as I used to call him) at Fort Lauderdale for many years. What a good and kind man, even as we were law enforcement officers…and enforced the law as necessary. I am so sad to learn of his death. RIP, Brother Art.

  25. Raul Troche says:

    Yes chief Jones seemed to be a good man. I pray that he is getting his second retirement, this one in heaven. As for the family please read I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Remember you will be united again.

  26. Alphonzia Barrett says:

    Art Jones was a great man. He gave me some encouraging words when I was going through hard times in my life that has stuck with me forever. R.I.P.

    • Brittany Faison says:

      AKA BRIT BRIT :))

  27. We extend our condolences on the passing of former Police Chief Jones, a cherished civil servant whose imprint in the Bunnell Community will be felt for many years by those whose lives he touched.. He will be sorely missed.


    Annette Cappella, State Committeewoman
    St. Johns County Democratic Party

  28. w.ryan says:

    Chief Arthur Jones left such a positive impact on the City of Bunnell as well as Flagler County. I met him just before he was made Chief of B.P.D. The force of positivity was with him. We spoke about what we can do to reach the children of Bunnell in a positive way and how we could do this. He was ready and in full throttle to get things started. Chief Martinez at the time was also in deep with what could and should be done for the most positive community impact. They were a duo and Martinez was confident that Jones was the man to get things done. Chief Jones was filled with faith and fully embraced the spiritual nature of his belief in Christ and believed that thru Christ he could help our community. He was such a positive man. I will miss his grand smile and his words of encouragement to the affirmation that we will get things done for the community. My heart felt condolences to his family. He is such a great loss for everyone and especially for you. May you find solace in the fact that
    he was respected and loved by so many. May Art rest in peace.

  29. Richlin Ryan says:

    I would like to first send my deepest heartfelt sympathy his lovely family. While teaching at the G.W. Carver Community Center I had the opportunity to meet Police Chief, Arthur Jones on several occasions. He was one of the finest law enforcement officers I have ever met. He love the community of Bunnell, and most of all he truly invested in the youth. the last time I saw Chief Jones was in the gym, I thanked him for all his support, and the one thing that stuck in my mind was what an amazing smile. What a gift he was to all who had the opportunity to have known him. His physical presences will truly be missed in our community, and his legacy will endure through the many lives he’s touch and his historical significance as the City of Bunnell’s first African American Police Chief. He will be missed!

  30. CERT5 says:

    Arthur Jones(Chief as I would call him) was a phenomenal earthly example for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many of us who knew him experienced his extraordinary character and love for others. Chief’s life and legacy is a gift to us. It is for us to examine ourselves and live a life of love, humility, and unselfishness toward others. Thank you Chief for having the mind of Christ and helping prepare us, just as you have done, to meet our soon coming KING!

    To the family, my deepest sympathy, condolences and prayers are with you. Always remember the times and moments you shared together, keep them dear and closest to your heart. These will provide comfort during times of bereavement.

    The Apostle Paul encourages us with these words in Phillipians 1:21: For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Chief gave us a great example to follow, let us imitate his earthly walk. In the hope that one day when our life is over, we will see him again in paradise. Peace and Blessings!

  31. lester faison says:

    I will miss u grand pa love u always R.I.P

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