By Ivy Velazquez
After many years of faithful service, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Community Service Office and longtime Riverview advocate, Barbara Jones, is celebrating her retirement in style by being recognized with an award for her community service.
Having served the HCSO for over 22 years, Jones has been a Riverview resident since 1998; prior to that she lived in Ohio. While with the HCSO, Jones served as a Community Service Officer. Her main duties consisted of initiating reports, investigative work and working with the community. “You do what you can to help the community,” she said. “I can honestly say that I loved a lot of what I did with my job, without a doubt.”
When asked what made her decide to retire, Jones said, “Age and I felt that it was time to pass the torch to someone else. You get to a certain age where it’s time to go on.” This does not, however, mean that Jones is done being involved with her community. “I’m still a part of the community; I should be involved,” she said.
Jones was surprised to receive a plaque of appreciation from Jim Johnson and the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce for her community service efforts at its recent meeting. The award was to recognize her many years of personal dedication and commitment to the Riverview community. Jones expressed gratitude for the award but also a little bit of discomfort. “It’s not always easy to get recognition for something I enjoy doing. I feel honored but also a little embarrassed,” she said.
She further expressed love for her chamber, saying how though she was a part of it as an officer, she now intended to become an actual member as a civilian. She also spoke of how great a place Riverview was to live.
In her determination to stay involved with the community, Jones already has several events lined up that she will be participating in, from the Homeless Veterans’ event in September to the Sheriff’s Christmas event for seniors. While she may be retired, she has no intention of stopping anytime. “I couldn’t just sit around; I don’t want to grow old,” Jones said.
Jones can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.