Meet the officers: OCPD Detective Jack Boon

Jack Boon

OKEECHOBEE – Detective Jack Boon was born in July of 1961 in Duncan, Okla.; however, he grew up in San Jose, Calif. He used to spend his time off from school going to the beach, camping and playing Yahtzee with his family and friends.

Detective Boon graduated from James Lick High School, located in San Jose, Calif., in 1980. His favorite subject to study in high school was history and he enjoyed spending time with his friends from church in school and being able to participate in sports. Mr. Boon’s favorite sports were water polo, swimming and participating in rodeos. He was actually a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)-certified rodeo clown at the age of 15. He worked as a rodeo clown during summers and on weekends and also as a gas station attendant until his high school graduation.

Detective Boon enlisted in the United States Navy the same year he graduated high school, stating, “I always wanted to enlist in the U.S. Navy.” He served a total of 20 years with a Navy occupational specialty as a sonar technician, however, he wore many hats during his career, serving as a gunner operating the 20mm chain gun, .50-caliber and M-60 machine guns as well as leading many boarding parties.

He was also an instructor and U.S. Navy recruiter among other roles during his tenure. Oddly enough, when assigned his recruiting duty, he was sent back to his place of birth in Oklahoma instead of his requested hometown of San Jose. His worst job was actually during his time in Oklahoma while doing the recruiting, where he became a part-time night pumper for O’Neal Oil in Velma-Alma, Okla.
In the Navy, Mr. Boon was deployed mostly in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, from the coast off of California to the Malay Peninsula, the Samoan and Philippine islands and Australia. His deployments include Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, along with several unnamed anti-drug and anti-piracy operations.

When asked, what was the most difficult aspect of participating in the military, he laughingly said, “There’s definitely not a shortage to choose from,” before he continued on to say, “the separation from family.”

Detective Boon also attended National University and San Diego State University (SDSU), where he majored in and earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, with a minor in literature. He also is a certified elementary school teacher. His favorite courses were those in history, science and creative writing. Mr. Boon stated that his reasoning for going to college originally was to be able to further his education and to increase his chances of attaining better employment. One of his most memorable moments in college was when he took a trip to the Mount Laguna Observatory, which is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by SDSU.

Detective Boon is the only public servant in his family, and he has been in law enforcement for 15 years, with 13 of them served in the Okeechobee Police Department.
When asked why he decided to become a law enforcement officer and why in Okeechobee, Detective Boon responded: “When I was a kid, I wanted to help people. I like it here; there are a lot of great people, and I like to think I make a positive impact on my community.” He also credited his family as being the biggest influence in his career, stating, “They have been very supportive of the long hours, low pay and hostile work conditions that are faced by law enforcement officers.”

Detective Boon is the father to four children, two grown men in their 20s and 30s along with a teenage daughter and son. He spends his spare time coaching the Okeechobee Shockwaves summer swim team and spending time with his family participating in various after-school activities.
Other than the present time, Detective Boon said he would like to have lived in late 19th-century America.

That time was known as “The Gilded Age,” which ran from 1870 through 1900 and was most commonly associated with rapid economic growth in America, with the railroads being the major growth industry.

Detective Boon stated he would like to have met American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer Mark Twain, also known as Samuel Clemens, because, Mr. Boon said, “he was insightful.” Detective Boon also said that if he could have a superhuman power, he would like the ability to read minds, saying, “It would make it easier to deal with criminals.”

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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