Kelvin Jones started the day with a carjacking/kidnapping. He ended it by helping bring new life into the world. Therese Apel/ Clarion Ledger
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It happened the same way all three times: a speeding car that doesn’t want to stop, a frantic dad, a mother in labor.
In late November, Mississippi State Trooper Kelvin Jones delivered his third baby on the side of the road — one came when he was a firefighter, two as a law enforcement officer.
Jones, 44, of Yazoo City, has been a state trooper for three and a half years, but was a firefighter for almost two decades before that. He also served as a part-time police officer for a few years.
The soft-spoken Belzoni native is a member of MHP’s Special Operations Group, which deals with calls such as prison and jail riots, high-risk manhunts and warrant service.
“One of the dangers is probably when we go out and assist with serving warrants, I think that’s the most dangerous part of it. We’re looking for people that are already considered dangerous and we don’t know what’s on their minds,” Jones said. “If we have to go in a house or something, and we don’t know what’s in that house or what’s going on, we’re going off training, going on the blind.”
That Sunday when Jones delivered that third baby started off dangerous as well.
“I had a carjacking/kidnapping earlier that morning and I guess that pretty much set the pace for the day,” he said.
But close to the end of his shift, a car flew by him on U.S. 49, going 96 miles per hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone.
“I turned around on them,” he said. “I didn’t think he was going to stop because he was pointing at his back seat, and I didn’t know what he was doing. Once I finally got him stopped he let me know his girlfriend was in labor.”
The baby, a little boy, was healthy. The other two had been boys too, Jones said. He added that in the chaos of a law enforcement life in which he sees so much tragedy, it’s a comfort to know he’s been a part of giving life as well as dealing with lost lives.
The Clarion Ledger reached out to the boy’s mother through mutual acquaintances and she did not respond. She did, however, tell other first responders she’d like to meet Jones again when there’s not a baby on the way.
“That makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’m out here for a reason and serving a purpose,” he said.
Yazoo County Sheriff Jacob Sheriff, a former highway patrolman himself, said he almost didn’t believe his ears when he heard Jones, with whom his department works closely on various scenes almost daily, had delivered a baby. Highway 49 doesn’t have much of a shoulder.
“I thought, how could a trooper deliver a baby writing tickets?” he said with a laugh.
Jones said he knows that people generally aren’t happy to see blue lights in their mirrors, but he’d like them to understand he’s not there as an antagonist, but as a protector.
“I know a lot of people don’t see how important this job is and how dangerous it is, but we’re definitely needed,” he said. “And even though there are people who don’t like seeing us coming, we’re coming to help in some protective way, to help someone in need.”
What does it mean to you to be an American?
It means a lot to me, it’s all I know. It means that I’m a part of a world that is free, and it’s a good to be a part of that as opposed to a place in the world where a lot of turmoil is going on. It’s all I know, and I’m grateful for that. I’d rather never know anything else.
What moment motivated you to become part of this effort?
When I was a firefighter, we work wrecks with troopers and I’d see them and I knew that they were the top of the line as far as law enforcement, and I wanted to be there. When I got into law enforcement, I wanted to be one of the best. Also as a child I wanted to be in the Marine Corps and I never got to be in the Marine Corps, and Highway Patrol is a lot like that. There are a few Marines who didn’t make it through training. But I had two in my class with me that did.
What gives you hope?
That I’m out here to make a difference and I know that when you do things, good things come back to you.
What concerns you?
The safety of the people on the highway. Some of the tragedies I’ve seen people go through from being out here on the road traveling and unexpected things happen. Their safety concerns me.
What do you hope to accomplish through your efforts?
My main goal is to make it home safe every day and to do the best job I can possibly do protecting the people on these roads while I’m working. As far as the future goes in the Highway Patrol, I want to get into training so I can pass what I’ve learned on to new troopers that come along after me.