Rickey Jones II, a 2012 graduate of Harker Heights High School, is the third inductee into the HHHS Teen Court Hall of Success.
Jones, 25, who has been a police officer for the past two years with the Galveston Police Department, was awarded his plaque during a special ceremony March 5 in Council Chambers at Harker Heights City Hall. Retired Municipal Judge Tony Kosta, creator of Teen Court, and current Assistant Municipal Judge Garland Potvin also participated in the ceremony.
Jones told the Herald that he was born and raised in Harker Heights. He attended Cedar Valley Elementary, Eastern Hills Middle School and Harker Heights High School. He was involved in Teen Court for five years.
Jones’ parents, Valencia Pollard-Fortson and Willie Fortson, who live in Harker Heights, were in the audience for the induction.
Jones said, “I heard about Teen Court while taking a law enforcement class and then I received a ticket. What kept bringing me back was that I wanted to be in law enforcement.
My dad is a police officer in Austin. The experience of being a prosecutor and on the stand myself in Teen Court put everything in perspective.”
Jones attended Sam Houston State University and studied criminal justice and business. He joined the Galveston Police Department in 2017 and was awarded a Life Saving Award from the GPD for quick response while on duty.
In December 2018, he departed for the Marine Corp Boot Camp in San Diego, California. On March 3, 2019, he graduated boot camp with honors and as an honor graduate.
In boot camp, every company has a guide and it’s the top soldier in the platoon. In Charlie Company, Platoon 1043, Jones was the guide from day one. At the end of boot camp, there was a competition within the platoon. Two soldiers came out on top. Jones was the one selected as the top Marine in Charlie Company.
“I proceeded to the School of Infantry and graduated with an MOS of 0311 Rifleman,” Jones said. “I then returned to my civilian career as a police officer for the city of Galveston,” Jones said.
While being a full-time police officer and being in the Marine reserves, he is working on a master’s degree in business administration from Sam Houston State University.
Jones likes being a police officer because of the interaction he has with the public. Being able to locate criminals and taking them away from the public is also a gratifying part of the job.
“I’ve always wanted to be someone who helps others and police work allows me to do that,” he said.
The coordinator of the Teen Court program is Judge Billy Ray Hall, municipal judge for the City of Harker Heights. Hall told the Herald that the first Hall of Success award presentation was at the beginning of the academic year.
Hall said, “The school year is winding down and now there are three that we’ve been able to honor.”
“What this program allows us to do is to keep in touch with students who have excelled. We want to know about their jobs, life adventures and keep the communication lines open.”
Hall said, “We’re about creating a system of justice. We’ve inducted a defense attorney, a prosecuting attorney in the JAG Corp and now a police officer who is also in the Marine Reserves. There are more than attorneys involved in creating justice. Those in law enforcement also play an enormous role in this process and help us by testifying in our Teen Court.”
“The Wall of Success program will take a summer break,” Hall said after the ceremony. “I told the staff that we will regroup after our Teen Court Showcase in April then talk about our plans for the 2020-2021 school year.”