Capt. Jack Long died Monday morning from complications related to cancer. News 3's original profile of Long is below:
Jack Long started out as a police officer in Atlanta when he was twenty. The rest of his career has been spent with the Columbus Police Department, 38 years all together.
Jack was recently diagnosed with cancer. That news rocked the police force and many in the community who know him.
Last Friday a barbecue fundraiser was held for Captain Long near Columbus State University's uptown campus. Jack mustered up enough strength to greet many of his friends and comrades.
Captain J.D. Hawk has known Jack for 35 years. Hawk says, "Criminals don't want to mess with him because he's a mountain of a man. But that's not the person we know. He's a big, caring teddy bear to us. He'll do anything in the world for you."
Jack has found it difficult to keep work off his mind. Corporal Christy Truitt works with Long and says, "Even when he's sick he was coming to work. When he was first diagnosed he would still come into the office for 15, 20, 30 minutes just to make sure he could get done what he needed to get done."
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson credits Long with being instrumental in the revitalization of Uptown Columbus. "He was one of the pioneers in making uptown safe again. He was one of the first officers assigned to that duty. And it was really his work that allowed those businesses to come back and thrive. So when you see that vibrant downtown today, you can credit Jackie Long with that."
Jack has also been a good neighbor in the truest sense of the word. Columbus City Councilor Judy Thomas recalls when Jack used to live next door to her Aunt Docia. Thomas says, "Aunt Docia was a single lady, an older lady. And when Jack would mow his grass, he'd just keep mowing and mow Aunt Docia's grass, too."
Jack has been a familiar face to a lot of businesses that have hired him for security over the years. Scott Ressmeyer with Country's Barbecue is a good example. Ressmeyer says, "Probably 25 years ago Jack Long started doing security for us up at Country's on Macon Road. Those nights when you're there as a manager and you're closing up, you spend hours getting to know somebody. From that point on Jack became family. You can't find a better individual."
Heart-felt hugs, handshakes and words of encouragement were flowing last Friday at the barbecue. One of Jack's co-workers, Christy Truitt, summed it up best. "We love him. We're praying for him everyday, and we can't wait for him to come back to work."
The Fraternal Order of Police has opened an account in Jack Long's name at any CB&T bank for anyone wishing to make a donation to help the family with medical expenses.
1350 13th Avenue
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