Lyons perfect ‘Top Cop’ choice

Published 9:02 pm Monday, November 14, 2011

Anyone who has been in law enforcement will tell you that a police officer’s work is never done.

A police officer can come to work, run himself ragged working a shift, take off the uniform, go home and keep working. Law enforcement officers are never really “off” — even after they retire.

Investigator Jason E. “Jake” Lyons is just such an officer. Though he has taken some of Suffolk’s biggest drug dealers off the streets in the past year, he knows there still are plenty of others out there who are making their mark in Suffolk’s drug world day in and day out.

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Combine that with the fact that Lyons, a member of the Special Investigations Unit, also is on the SWAT team, which can be called up at any hour of the night, and it’s a wonder Lyons ever sleeps.

Chief Thomas Bennett said Lyons has an “inexhaustible work ethic and commitment to keeping the citizens of Suffolk safe from drug dealers and violent criminals.”

It is for those reasons — and surely many more — that the Hampton Roads Crime Line recognized Lyons as Suffolk’s “Top Cop” during its annual dinner held in Newport News last week.

It was an especially appropriate choice considering Lyons’ track record this year. He has worked major cases that resulted in $2,000 worth of heroin, two pounds of marijuana, more than $55,000 in drug money and several firearms being taken off the streets of Suffolk. The heroin bust was one of the largest in the department’s history.

But even Lyons acknowledges he can’t do everything. He has to prioritize his time so that he’s getting what he called “the most bang for my buck” — that is, the most community impact. As a result, he usually winds up going after drug dealers who have the largest client base and who carry weapons.

To Lyons, the greatest reward is seeing innocent citizens who feel safer as they go about their lives as a result of drug dealers being removed from their home, their street, their neighborhood.

But the accolades aren’t all about him, he says. He’s humble, acknowledging that everyone on the Special Investigations Unit has a piece of the pie.

We agree that Lyons was the perfect choice for Suffolk’s “Top Cop.”