Jack Simpson honored for service to law enforcement

COVINGTON -- Sheriff Ezell Brown and the Newton County Sheriff's Office recently honored Jack Simpson, 88, the oldest active law enforcement officer in the state of Georgia and as far as can be determined, in the United States.

In making the award, Sheriff Brown called Simpson a true investigator and tactician when it comes to the area of law enforcement as he continues to demonstrate his knowledge and experience in the Investigative Division of the NCSO. Simpson was to have received the award at the NCSO's annual awards ceremony in February, but after an on-the-job injury, the sheriff rescheduled the presentation of the award.

Simpson began his career as an auxiliary police officer in Arlington, Va. He then served as a FBI Special Agent for 23 years.

During his time with the FBI, Simpson was involved in many of the major civil rights cases.

He was involved in the James Earl Ray case, as well as the integration of the University of Alabama. And when Lemuel Penn, a decorated war veteran, was murdered by the Klu Klux Klan, Simpson was the agent to receive the confession that solved one of the FBI's most famous civil right's cases.

Simpson has served in Rockdale and Newton County as a bailiff and an investigator.

"I'm so proud to receive this award," said Simpson, who accepted the award alongside his two daughters Barbara Simpson Grayson and Joan Simpson Mitchell, adding that he is proud to be a part of the NCSO, calling them "a close-knit family."

Simpson has written three books and writes a column for the Rockdale/Newton Citizen every Friday.

"We are proud of his lifelong service in law enforcement and especially pleased that Newton chose to support and honor him," said Simpson's family.Also honored at the award's ceremony was the late NCSO Deputy Lt. Douglas Digby who retired in 1989. Digby passed away in July of 2011 and his wife Winona Digby and his son and daughter-in-law Wayne and Deedy Digby, accepted a plaque honoring him for his 12 years of service to the sheriff's office. Digby also served as a Covington Police officer beginning in 1967 and was chief from 1970 to 1977.