It’s been thirty-five years and Jeff Arnold is still going strong.
Officer Arnold first joined the Bryan Police Department in 1980, where he began his career in law enforcement as a patrolman. Now, after a brief spat with early retirement, Officer Arnold now patrols the halls of the Millcreek-West Unity School District. The veteran lawman became just the second person to hold the title of School Resource Officer (SRO) at Hilltop, after filling the position upon the resignation of Officer Michael Polley, who accepted a position in the Williams County Probation Office.
“Chief Jones asked me to take the position.” Arnold recalled.
And looking at his track record, it’s not hard to see why Jones believed him to be the man for the job.
From his start as a patrolman, Arnold moved up to the role of detective, a title he held for quite some time.
“For most of my career, that’s what I was doing.” Arnold said of his detective work.
Eventually, he would be promoted to Road Sargent, giving him the responsibility of supervising all road patrol officers within the Bryan department. Then, he was bumped up to Detective Sargent, which placed him in charge of supervising investigations. Arnold even spent three years as part of the Multi-Area Narcotics Task Force, or MAN Unit, which is still around today.
In April of 2005, after twenty-five years of faithful service, Arnold was awarded the position of Bryan Police Chief. He stayed on as the head of the Fountain City’s police department for nine years, retiring in 2014. It wasn’t by choice, though.
“I didn’t want to retire.” Conceded Arnold.
The former chief had entered into a retirement program, which had the unfortunate stipulation that those within it must retire after an eight year span. After that time had passed, Arnold had no choice but to call it a career early. At least, that’s how it seemed at the time.
Officer Arnold stayed active in the Police Reserves after his retirement, not wanting to abandon a line of work to which most of his life had been devoted.
“I wanted to keep my hands in law enforcement.”
A short while later, the opportunity to take over as Hilltop SRO came to him.
“That’s something I’ve never done in law enforcement.” Arnold stated on the lure of the position.
Arnold believes he’ll stay on the job for another four or five years before seeking real retirement.
T.J. Hug can be reached at