After three decades of service, Hinesville Police Detective Lt. Suzie Jackson is ready to step away from the force and begin a new chapter in life.
Fellow HPD Officers, local first responders, Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown and officials from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department bid her farewell during a retirement luncheon held last week.
Assistant Police Chief Major Bill Kirkendall said Jackson joined the force in October 1984, when he worked as a dispatcher. Kirkendall said he joined the force in 1991 after returning from the Air Force and was trained by Jackson. He said Jackson served in the patrol division, was a field training officer and later an investigator.
She was named a lieutenant in the detective division in 2010.
“One of the adjectives used to describe her is meticulous and that pretty much sums her up,” Kirkendall said. “She has maintained great records and was very much to the point. She was selected to be our crime scene investigator for a number of years. Your greatest asset is your personnel and we are definitely losing an asset.”
Throughout her career, Jackson worked side by side with Maj. Thomas E. Cribbs.
Cribbs retired in February 2016 and died this February.
During an interview for the April/May 2016 issue of Liberty Life Magazine Cribbs said Jackson was among his finest detectives, noting, “Jackson is great at crime scenes,” and that they often shared the same perspectives when investigating cases.
Jackson said she’s been with HPD for 32 years, 22 of those as a detective. She said she’s had several light-hearted moments.
“I’ve just had so many…I think a lot of things are humorous…it’s just been a lot of fun and I had a blast. There’s been hard times, good times, low times…but all in all it’s been awesome,” she said.
She also recalls moments that made her work difficult. Much like Cribbs, Jackson said there was one horrific crime that left a lasting impression.
“The most horrific is the Olive Street murder…the quadruple homicide that we had...that was horrific,” she said.
In July 2002 two women and two children were found stabbed to death inside a home on Olive Street. One of the women also had a gunshot wound to the head. The scene was one of the bloodiest murders recorded at HPD. A few days after the bodies were discovered, former Ludowici police officer Calvin B. Williams was arrested and charged with the crimes.
He is serving four consecutive life terms at Augusta State Prison without the possibility of parole.
Jackson said she is leaving police work behind, for now, trading in her badge for things she finds more calming.
“My sister lives on Lake Oconee and I plan to go visit and do some fishing, work around the yard and enjoy life for a while,” she said. “I don’t have any plans after that. I’m just going to see how it works. I’m going to turn a page and see what is out there.”
She thanked her fellow officers and expressed her appreciation to the city.
“I want to say to the people who are here and have been here a while, sometimes it gets rough. And sometimes you may not like what is going on but it does get better,” she said. “I have to say that the city has been really good to me. The citizens of Hinesville have been really good to me. If it had not been for working here I would not have had the opportunities that I have or seen the things that I was involved in and met the people I have met.”