Jinks retires from Katy ISD police department, celebrates nearly 40 years in law enforcement

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 9/30/20

Katy ISD Police Chief Robert Jinks retired Sept. 30 after serving in law enforcement since 1977, with the majority of his career – since 1984 – served at Katy ISD. Jinks said he has …

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Jinks retires from Katy ISD police department, celebrates nearly 40 years in law enforcement

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Katy ISD Police Chief Robert Jinks retired Sept. 30 after serving in law enforcement since 1977, with the majority of his career – since 1984 – served at Katy ISD. Jinks said he has enjoyed his career with the district, especially the opportunity to interact with the students over the years.

“That was the best part is working with (the students) and being able to, you know, be somewhat of a mentor if I could and just let them know that I was there for them if they needed me.”

Jinks said interacting with the students was a unique experience in law enforcement and one only for officers with a mindset of service rather than strict enforcement of the law.

“It’s about prevention is what it is,” Jinks said. “It’s about trying to be there for the kids so that they don’t go down the wrong path. Now, you’re not always successful, and you have to do your job, but it’s good when you can make an impact before the kids go down the wrong road.”

Jinks said he knows he’s had an impact on students and he was proud of the work he’d done to help those students grow up to be productive members of society without having arrest records when a guiding hand was just as helpful as a pair of handcuffs.

“Because that’s the most rewarding part of it,” Jinks said. “You have to do your job (and make arrests), but there’s no gratification in that. Gratification is seeing the positive effect on the kids, and you know, my motto has always been, ‘I don’t want to be somebody important. I want to be important to somebody.’”

Jinks said he began his career in law enforcement as an officer in 1977 in the Katy area, and was hired by KISD as a security specialist in November of 1984. He is a graduate of Katy High School and has been proud to serve the district he graduated from.

In 1984 there was still no formal police department for the district and he worked with the Waller County Sheriff’s Office as a reserve officer, he said. He maintained his certifications as a law enforcement officer and joined KISD PD when it was formed in 1988.

“I was still young at the time and wanted to get out there and do the job, and Mark Hopkins was hired and he had experience and he was a security specialist with (KISD),” Jinks said. “He was appointed chief and I was appointed sergeant – second in command.”

In 2015, Hopkins retired, and Jinks accepted the position of chief.

“I decided at that point in my career that I could probably do more good for the department if I went ahead and applied for the chief job and I did and (former KISD Superintendent Alton) Frailey appointed me chief,” Jinks said.

During his career, Jinks said he’s seen a lot of changes in what KISD PD deals with. When he first started, most issues officers responded to were marijuana, drinking or fights, he said. But that has changed.

“When we first started the police department, we never dreamed we would have a detective assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. You couldn’t imagine that,” he said.

Still, Jinks said, while the crimes and situations may have changed as the internet – especially social media – evolved, the job remains the same: keeping everyone in the district safe and trying to be a positive impact on students.

As chief, it remains about that and helping young officers be successful, Jinks said.

“Being chief had nothing to do with Robert (Jinks),” he said. “It had everything to do with what I could do for the troops because I could have retired before I even became chief. I had the time. But when it came up, I thought, ‘Maybe I can get some things done here in the next few years that will benefit people.’”

Jinks doesn’t have specific plans for retirement, but hopes to remain involved with the district, especially in agricultural programs. He said he is looking forward to retirement, but he is going to miss the people – students, staff and faculty – at KISD that he has come to call family over the years, especially the officers.

“They become a part of you, and then part of your life,” Jinks said. “Especially in the police world – I mean, we depend so much on each other and we put our lives in each other’s hands and we’ve become a pretty tight group.”

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