Patrick Jaco III will be the first to admit that he has accepted many jobs within his career as a police officer. But when the opportunity to return to the Yazoo City Police Department arose…he jumped on it. His reason is quite simple.
“There is no place like home,” Jaco said, with a smile. “When I returned here, I just picked up where I had left off. And I have no plans of going anywhere else. I am home.”
Jaco, 33, was born in Texas, but he arrived in Yazoo City when he was about two years old. To him, Yazoo is home.
Jaco graduated from Yazoo City High School, where he was very active in football and JROTC. But it was on the football field where he found his niche. Under former high school football coach Tony Woolfolk, he continued his football career at the local high school for four years.
“But the late Coach Kyle Wallace really pushed me,” Jaco said. “I was unsure what I was going to do after high school, and he got me into the tryouts for Holmes Community College’s football team. Thanks to him, I was able to get a football scholarship.”
Majoring at first in the engineering field, Jaco admits he didn’t like it.
“I didn’t like sitting behind a desk, a computer screen,” he said, with a smile. “But I stayed at Holmes for two years and was named Co-MVP, Best Offensive and Defensive Lineman and played in the All=Star game. I began visiting a lot of four-year universities, such as MS Valley, Alcorn and Jackson State. But I ended up signing a full football scholarship at Alcorn, playing center.”
Playing on a team would instill lessons in Jaco that he continues to carry with him in life.
Jaco was unsure of what he wanted to pursue as a career. In his early 20s, former police chief Eric Snow and Maj. Jessie Fry knew him very well and always suggested a career in law enforcement.
“They kept asking me if wanted to become a police officer,” he said. “They didn’t realize I wasn’t 21 years old because of my size. But when I turned 22 years old, I decided to apply at the Yazoo City Police Department. It was then that I was hired and became an officer.”
Jaco remained on the local force until 2010 when he was shot seven times while serving as an off-duty security officer at a local nightclub.
“I was out of work for about three months,” he said. “While I was off work, everything was fine. But when I started to go back to work, everything hit me at once. I wasn’t as focused as I used to be. So, I decided to take a break.”
For a while, Jaco took a job within some small department in the Isola and Belzoni area. He later took a job as a security office at the University Medical Center. He even served as police chief in Tchula for a couple of years.
But after shifting around to find where he would be happy, Jaco returned to the YCPD. And he has been here ever since.
“When I first got into law enforcement, yes, I was asked to join,” he said. “But once I started and went through the police academy, there is nothing else I would rather do. I was told the academy would be hard, but I loved it. I learned about the field, got into shape and enjoyed it. I took pride in my graduation.”
Jaco said the local department has grown significantly from his first time here.
“Our transportation fleet and the way we handle reports has improved,” he said. “Working with computers more makes our jobs easier. Interim Police Chief Jay Winstead is working on getting us several things that will only make our department better.”
Jaco said he is a firm believer in community policing. He especially enjoys interacting with the community and the youth.
“I take pride in that because I care the community that I serve,” he said. “Being in Yazoo City, it is my home. That makes what I do even better. The kids I am trying to help are growing up with my own kids, my two sons.”
Jaco said he approaches every call, citation, arrest and response with politeness and respect for all involved.
“I have had a few come up to me after I have had to arrest them and thank me,” he said. “When I am thanked for serving, I enjoy that. At the end of the day, I get satisfaction from removing a potential threat off the streets. I want to make my home, my community safer. That is what is so important about this job.”