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Jaki Johnson is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Georgia Southwestern College. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. Since her retirement as Post Commander of the Georgia State Patrol in Waycross in 2004, Jaki has become a substitute teacher for the Ware County Board of Education. She says that it allows her the opportunity to stay in touch with the youth in the area, which is one of her passions.
SFC (RET) Jacquelyn (Jaki) D. Johnson has had the opportunity to make the public aware of the role of her department through positive public relations. She has coordinated disaster procedures; participated in varied public safety functions; and supervised several dignitary security functions. She has been a featured speaker at several of the schools and civic organizations, churches, and after-school functions in the six-county territory that she was responsible for. She has excellent interdepartmental interactions with public safety agencies at the federal, state and local levels.
Jaki’s career achievements in her over 30 years of law enforcement experience include being the first Black female hired as a trooper by the Georgia State Patrol, the first female Post Commander of the Georgia State Patrol, the highest ranking female in the Georgia State Patrol as Sergeant First Class at retirement, awarded the Pioneer in Law Enforcement Award by NOBLE, being one of the first female training officers of the Georgia State Patrol, and being the first female supervisor of a field post in the Georgia State Patrol.
Some of her honors are International Who’s Who in Public Service, Outstanding Young Women of America, Outstanding Students of America, Who’s Who Among High School and College Students, University of Georgia’s Black Student Union’s Freshman of the Year, Queen of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., National Officer of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., recipient of the NAACP’s Milestone Award for Exemplary Achievement, recipient of the Georgia Association of Primary Health Care Community Service Award, 2005 parade marshal for the Martin Luther King, Jr celebration; and awarded Outstanding Achievements in Law Enforcement by the Okefenokee Heritage Center. She is nationally accredited as a health center governance leader.
She is a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, immediate past President of the Waycross Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, past Chairman of the Board of the McKinney Community Health Center, a board officer of the Waycross Kiwanis Club, a member of Leadership Waycross Alumni, member of the advisory committee of Okefenokee Technical College, member of the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together, lifetime pledge member of NAACP and current vice president of the local chapter, a member of the advisory board for the Multicultural Committee at Waycross College, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of McKinney Community Health Center, a member of the Keystone Voters and Civic League; a board member of Habitat for Humanity, and Ware County’s representative for the State Democratic Executive Committee.
Her civic activities have included the Big Sister Program, coaching young girls basketball and softball, Special Olympics, Waycross Weed and Seed Program volunteer, Adopt-A-Cop mentoring program, 1999 and 2000 Gift of Life Charity Run where she was segment leader and helped to raise $1/2M for underprivileged children’s open heart surgery, Relay for Life participant and team leader, and a Walk America participant.
The District: The district is composed of two counties, Ware and Charlton. Waycross, in Ware County is the largest city in the largest county in the largest state east of the Mississippi River. Population is approximately 37,000. Folkston, in Charlton Co., population approximately 17,000, is a gateway city into Georgia from Florida. Both counties house the Okefenokee Swamp. The district is mainly rural.