The Greenville community was recently witness to a double-edged tragedy. Two young men who had chosen very different walks of life were thrust out into eternity.
Officer Allen Jacobs, 28, was shot and killed March 18 by Deontea Mackey, 17, during a foot chase.
After making a final phone call to his mother, Mackey turned the gun on himself and ended his own life.
A natural leader and member of the GPD’s Community Response Team, Officer Jacobs was known among his fellow police officers as a “cop’s cop.”
He spent over six years in the military, serving in both Iraq and Haiti, before being honorably discharged and joining the Greenville police force.
He volunteered for challenging assignments and poured himself into training, earning over 30 certifications during his four and a half years on the force.
Jacobs was awarded the Purple Heart by Greenville police chief Ken Miller after being injured in the line of duty in 2015.
Mackey was a troubled youth whose early life showed promising beginnings but who had embraced the dark side of life on the streets.
He had recently been released from jail, he was a known member of a gang, and police had reason to believe he was looking for a gun.
This tragedy struck close to home for the University family. Jacobs attended the Academy, and Jacobs’ parents, Drs. Don and Tammie Jacobs, serve on the School of Education faculty.
Mackey was known to enthusiastically participate in a summer reading program and fitness program. He encouraged other kids to get engaged with the activities as well.
In today’s climate of social unrest, particularly surrounding the treatment and behavior of police officers, loud voices constantly blast opinions on all sides arguing whether blue or black lives matter more.
But the truth of the matter prevails. The truth is all lives are created by God—all lives matter.
This is what prompted Officer Jacobs to show concern for his community. This is the same concern shown by BJU students, faculty and staff who conduct ministries in the area of Officer Jacobs’ beat.
The Collegian thanks Officer Jacobs for his service and encourages the student body to follow his example of service.