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Loss of `true policeman' jolts Allen sheriff force

LIMA, Ohio - The Allen County sheriff's office will be closed Thursday to pay tribute to a 30-year veteran who lost a brief battle with leukemia.

Lt. Floyd G. Jackson, 57, the highest-ranking African-American in the department's history, died Saturday at Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus.

Maj. Larry Van Horn said yesterday that although Lieutenant Jackson was eligible for retirement, he chose to continue working after his illness was diagnosed early this year. “Floyd wanted at least to stay until the end of the year,” he said. “However, it was not etched in stone that he would retire at that time.”

Lieutenant Jackson joined the sheriff's office in December, 1971, and worked for many years as a juvenile officer - investigating crimes involving youths.

He was promoted to sergeant, then lieutenant, working primarily in the uniformed division until being transferred to the detective bureau about two years ago.

“Floyd was certainly a policeman's policeman. He was a true policeman in every aspect of the job,” Major Van Horn said. “He was dedicated. He was a tremendous family man, and he always had a kind word for everybody.

“He was very well respected by each and every member of the sheriff's office and the law enforcement community in general in this area. He will be sadly missed.”

The lieutenant was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Lima Exchange Club in 1978. He was staff officer of the year in 1996 and a graduate of the Allen-Lima Leadership class in 1997.

Surviving Lieutenant Jackson are his wife, Catherine, a son, and two daughters.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Jones-Clark Funeral Home here. A Fraternal Order of Police service is set for 8 p.m. tomorrow at the funeral home. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday in Second Baptist Church on West Spring Street.

Major Van Horn said the sheriff's business office will be closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday so employees can attend the service. Road patrol will continue during those hours.

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