Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40: Lt. Aaron Jones

LT Aaron Jones
Age 35
Lieutenant/Field & Tactical Operations
Topeka Police Department

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Execution and attention to detail are integral parts of being an athlete and a police officer. As Officer in Charge of the Response Team (SWAT), Aaron excels at being precise in how he responds to situations. When looking to build a team, he looks for critical thinkers who can respond to the situation in front of them with respect and care. Whether it is in the field as the OIC or on the field as an assistant softball coach, Aaron pulls people together.

“I’m willing to set out goals for a team, then get my hands dirty right along with those I’m leading.”

What advice would you give someone in a new leadership position?
Have patience. With new leadership comes high expectations. You may face a followership that expects you to right years of perceived wrongs or mess up years of perceived efficiency. Your demeanor will rub off on others. Show decorum and poise as you thoughtfully address issues. Ask questions. Oftentimes your curiosity will lead your followers to answer their own questions simply by answering yours.

What do you hope your legacy will be?
I don’t really want one. In the end, everyone will know what you have or have not done in this life. It stems from an old lesson my mother told me: “No one needs to know when you donate, what you donate or how much you donate. The people who benefit will feel it.”

What is your motivation?
My family. I have picked one of the worst careers for such an assertion, but it is true. I work nights, evenings, weekends, holidays without (okay minimal) complaint. Every minute at work, I think about the time I miss with them. It is not easy having two competing addictions—family and work.

Back to the full list of 20 Under 40 Honorees

Responses Compiled by Lisa Loewen, Erin Aldridge & Enedina Patch
Photography by Nathan Ham, Nathan Ham Photography