Former BPS Director Duke remembered fondly by city

Published 1:08 am Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Charles Tyson served as City Manager for about 10 years during the time Duke was head of public safety and said he couldn’t say anything but good about him. “He was a trooper. He loved the city and was a leader during the difficult time of the conversion of the city from a police department to public safety.”

Tyson also remembers some great fishing trips with Duke. “Once a year we would take the department heads and key supervisors and go down to Florida to go fishing. We had a wonderful time together and caught some major fish. Every now and then just he and I would go down on the river and fish, then clean and cook them on the spot and invite our families to come eat.”

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He described Jabo as generally laid back. “He knew everybody in town and their whole families. I imagine that came in handy at times,” said Tyson.

Sheriff Wiley Griffin said he knew him and his wife as friends. He described him as a very dedicated officer and a man of integrity. Although they never served together in law enforcement at the same time, when Griffin was operating his personal business he had opportunity to interact with him professionally. “Any time I saw Jabo he was in a good mood. He was always the same,” recalls Griffin.

The funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at

Calvary Baptist Church with Dr. Danny Shepard, and Pastor Larry Harrell

officiating. Interment followed at Beulah Thomas Baptist Church Cemetery with Masonic Rites as well as the Bainbridge Public Safety Honor Guard.

Jabo was born July 26, 1927 in Gadsden County, FL, the son of Emsley Henry Dukes and Mattie King Dukes. He attended West Bainbridge High School and then served honorably in the United States Navy during World War II, joining when he was but 17, in 1944. He served at Hawthorn Naval Ammunition Depot in Nevada.

He left the service in 1946 and spent 38 years with the Bainbridge Police Department, beginning in May of 1954 as a patrolman and moving through the ranks as Motorcycle Traffic Patrolman, Corporal, Sergeant, Chief Detective, and Chief of Police. In 1982, he served as president of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

After the City of Bainbridge adopted the public safety concept in 1984, he served as the city’s first Director of Public Safety until his retirement on August 1, 1992.

It was also in 1992 that Jabo was selected by his peers to receive the prestigious award of Georgia’s Police Chief of The Year. His service extended a period of almost 40 years of faithful and dedicated service to law enforcement in his beloved community.

Active in his community, he worked with youth ball programs and the Lions

Club. He was also a freemason with the Orion Lodge #8 F.&A.M. where he

served as Worshipful Master in 1982 and a Shriner with the Hasan Temple

A.A.O.N.M.S. as Ambassador At-Large Emeritus. He was a member of BeulahThomas Baptist Church.

A complete obituary can be found on page 2A.