Name: Jonathon Horton
Where were you born and raised?
“I was born at the Holy Name of Jesus Hospital and was raised in Ivalee and Gallant communities.”
What is your occupation?
“I am the Chief of Police of Rainbow City and a part-time funeral director at Glencoe-Hokes Bluff Funeral Home.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“I have always been inclined and motivated to help people. I began my career serving my country in the United States Navy from 1992-1996 right after high school. I returned home in 1996 and began serving my community as a funeral director. I always had a desire to be a law enforcement officer to make a difference and help people in a time of need.”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“I adore my wife of 27 years, Angie Holcomb Horton, who is a registered nurse and the lead nurse for Attalla City Schools as well as a PRN in Labor and Delivery at Gadsden Regional Medical Center. I have three beautiful daughters. The oldest is Hannah (Issac) Gunn. She graduated with a B.S. in Education from JSU and is a school teacher at Kitty Stone Elementary School in Jacksonville. Lora Horton is my middle daughter. She also graduated from JSU with a B.S. in Criminology and has worked at CVS pharmacy as a pharmacy tech in Attalla for the past six years and is seeking a job as a juvenile probation officer. My youngest is Jonah Horton, who is a senior at Etowah High School and captain of the dance line. I have two dogs, Hershey, who is a 12-year-old, half Cocker Spaniel and Datsun, and Stella, who is a one-year-old Labradoodle. They both live indoors. Hershey is a loving lap dog and Stella is an energetic intelligent companion.”
Describe an average day in your life.
“Extremely busy! As Chief of Police, I am always searching to find strategies to improve public safety from a criminal and a traffic standpoint. I am constantly engaging in the community from regular visits to our senior group, schools and business owners. I rarely get lunch on time, if at all. I spend the first two hours of the day returning phone calls and answering questions for various aspects and concerns of the community. Next, I always go through the reports taken from the previous day and address any concerns. I always make it a point to visit the mayor some time during the day to insure there are no loose ends. I work every other weekend at the funeral home assisting families funeral directing.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“I attended Jefferson State Community College for Mortuary Science. I graduated from Gadsden State Community College with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. I completed SLEDS (Southern Leadership Executive Development Seminar), an advanced leadership course for law enforcement. I have numerous training certificates as related to law enforcement. I completed NAVLEAD (Naval Leadership School) while in the U.S. Navy.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I enjoy spending time with my wife, daughters and grandson. I occasionally fresh-water fish.”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
As Chief of Police at Glencoe, I was blessed to obtain a large amount of equipment via a government program and liquidate the equipment to generate over $300,000. The funds were used to pay off all financed debt of the police dept. and buy all-new equipment and vehicles, as well as issue the department its first department issued weapons which resulted in a huge boost of morale and energy to accomplish in the community.”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“My grandfather, Troy L. Horton. He was a retired Master Sergeant that spent 24 years of active duty in the U.S. Army. He was veteran of both Korean and Vietnam. He invested time in me and taught me to work hard and always treat others as you want to be treated. He always said, “Take care of the little things in life, and most of the big things will take care of their self.” I have found this to be true in many instances.”
To what do you credit your success?
“Jesus Christ. My faith in God has always carried me through. He will never leave you or forsake you.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“I am a current member of AACOP (Alabama Association of Chiefs’ of Police).”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“The togetherness that people have I have seen the community pull together and help people through tough times on many occasions in law enforcement and support law enforcement when we where being demonized on a national level.”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“I would love to see more community groups and/or gatherings to promote a greater partnership between law enforcement and the community such as neighborhood watch groups. I would love to see more mentoring programs for children that need mentoring, so we could invest in a strong generation with a strengthened moral fabric.”
What are three words that describe you?
“Honest, determined and compassionate.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“That I enjoy cooking and housekeeping as a stress reliever.”
What is your favorite quote?
“All things are possible through Christ who strengthens us.”
What is on your bucket list?
“To take an Alaskan cruise.”
What is your hidden talent?
“Mortuary Restorative Art.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“Obtain all the education you can and always remember business before pleasure.”
If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email email@example.com or call 256-547-1049.