BY JACLYN ROSE –
Jeff Field was born in Detroit, Michigan, where he lived until his father retired from Ford Motor Company in 1991. At the age of 15, Field, along with his family, moved from the hustle and bustle of one of the biggest cities in the Midwest to small town, Mena, Arkansas. “It was very different for me, definitely culture shock. I went from a school district with 3,000 students to Acorn School District with 300 students, but it’s home now,” explained Field.
After graduating high school in 1994, Field went on to obtain his Associate’s Degree from Rich Mountain Community College. During that time, he took a Criminal Justice class and interned at Mena Police Department. “I always knew I wanted to be a cop, even as a child I loved to play cop games. Ray Shelley started me in the office doing databases and clerical stuff, basically starting at the bottom,” said Field.
Field was a full-time officer with the Mena Police Department by the year 2000 and he graduated from the Police Academy in 2001. He continued as a patrolman until 2004, at which time he was approached and asked to join the 18th West Judicial Drug Task Force.
The Drug Task Force works in both Polk and Montgomery Counties and is governed by a Board which includes both the counties’ sheriffs, as well as, Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner. The Drug Task Force is grant funded and holds long and short-term investigations. They also approach houses and knock on doors and collect information. This group fights on the very front lines in the war on drugs. “Drugs are connected to everything: theft, violence, abuse – many problems are drug related. It’s terrifying sometimes. If anyone says they are not scared doing what we do, they are lying. I strictly deal with people not wanting my help. It’s humbling because I see people at their worst, but I also see them at their best. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very rewarding. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Most recently this group, along with assistance from many agencies including the local sheriff’s office, conducted Operation Pilled-Up, which began as a six-month long investigation into the sales of prescription drugs. “I couldn’t ask for a better outcome. With the sale of prescription drugs, you also fall into the sale of other narcotics but everyone was safe and multiple agencies came out to support us,” explained Field. “With drugs it’s not if they get caught, it’s when. This is a small town and a round-up like that is nothing in a lot of places, but it’s a big deal here. I do this to make the community better, because this is home.”
Field married his wife, Elicia, in July of 2012 and between the two, they have six children and one grandchild. “My wife is a wonderful person. She has a very strong Christian heart and is very virtuous. She is the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Field.
Quite the contrast from Detroit, Mena is a place Field is now proud to call home. “I am blessed. I love my town. I love my job. I love my church. It’s safe here. We have good schools. Even though I don’t have much family here, I don’t feel alone. I feel like I have family here. Even the worst day in Polk County is better than any day anywhere else,” Field explained.