We lost one of our own earlier this year when Jesse Turner, an administrative leadership student, died on April 13 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 51.
Turner had an extensive career in policing and with the FBI. He was continuing his education with a Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Leadership. After graduation, Turner planned to seek a chief of police position in a suburban area near Austin or Houston.
At the time of his death, Turner was a captain of the Victoria Police Department in Victoria, Texas, where he served for 31 years, and held an office with the Texas Chapter of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Association (FBINAA).
Turner’s steady presence was widely known in the town of Victoria, where he created countless friends in his lifetime of service to his community. He graduated from Stroman High School in Victoria and went on to graduate in the first class of the Victoria College Police Academy. The police department there hired him as a patrolman in 1983. He continued to move up the ranks and served as a senior patrolman (1986-96), sergeant (1996-99) and lieutenant (1999-2004). He also worked in other law enforcement areas including SWAT, support services, training, recruiting, traffic safety and administration and professional standards.
In addition, Turner was a graduate of the 228th session of the FBINAA in Quantico, Virginia, as well as a graduate of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. He received his Master Peace Officer certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education and was a member of the first graduating class of the Victoria College Police Academy, where his career began.
According to colleagues, friends and family, Turner was a dedicated, by-the-book worker, but also a kind and humble friend. Though Turner enjoyed a long and decorated career as a police officer, he considered his wife and family his real success. He and his wife would have celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year.
He is survived by his wife, Rhonda Turner; his daughter, Kristi Munoz and her husband Marco of Louise, Texas, and their three children, Mateo, Kristian and Mya; his son Justin Turner and his wife Sarah of Cedar Park, Texas, and their son Ethan James; and his son Dustin Turner and his wife Sarah of Austin, Texas.
Captain Turner lived an exemplary life and will be missed.
Note: The College of Liberal Studies was renamed the College of Professional and Continuing Studies in 2017.