March 17, 2017 was a big day for newly certified Walton County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Council. It was the day he and his wife welcomed their firstborn son – and the day he aced his final deputy sheriff’s exam.
Before taking the exam that day, Jacob had been up all night supporting his wife through her labor. But he didn’t let that stop him from leaving her just long enough to take the 200 question exam before returning to the hospital in time to welcome little Jonah Council to his family. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office was suitably impressed with the newest certified member of the department, congratulating him on the 91 he made on the test and welcoming baby Jonah to the WCSO’s law enforcement family. One person not surprised by her husband’s commitment and dedication was his wife and proud new mom, Kelsey Council.
“From when we first met, six years ago, Jacob has always shown such love and compassion to everyone around him. He has such a servant’s heart and it is so evident in the way he lives his life, not only to his family and friends, but even to strangers,” she said.
Jacob, who has worked at WCSO as a detention officer since the summer of 2015, began the 11-week course in January this year at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Athens to become a mandated peace officer. He did so knowing that things at the end would be close, what with his graduation scheduled for March 24 and his son due to arrive March 26, but he didn’t know just how close it would all turn out in the end.
“While there was a lot of uncertainty about timing of the baby’s birth, Jacob knew he would not be allowed to miss any days or he would not be able to complete the course. However, he wanted to become a Deputy Sheriff and decided to begin school, trusting in God’s perfect timing,” Kelsey said.
Well that timing put her into labor on Thursday night while Jacob was studying with group of cadets for the final exam the next day. He had to leave and spend the rest of the night at the hospital with his wife.
“Graciously, his instructors allowed him to take the written final exam and another performance exam during the morning so he would not miss his son’s birth,” Kelsey said. “At 7 a.m. Jacob went to GPSTC and took his exams, even though the baby had still not arrived. In the midst of everything going on and a night of no sleep in the hospital, Jacob made a 91 on the final written exam.”
He then returned to the hospital in time for his son’s birth at 3:44 p.m. on Friday, March 17.
“Jacob still had to go to school on Monday and finish the last week of the Police Academy, including several performance evaluations and exams,” Kelsey said, adding that he was able to graduate on Friday, March 24, right on schedule. She says not only is she proud to have him as father to their son, but she believes that he is a true asset to WCSO as well as the community. She said his compassionate character was evident even after taking the exam, going through the labor with her and welcoming their son.
“On Friday evening, only a couple hours after our son was born, Jacob went out to the waiting room in the hospital where some of his family was waiting to meet Baby Jonah. While out there, he saw a man who was crying and his family around him was obviously upset, as well. Some of his family left to go to a different part of the hospital and the man was there alone crying. Jacob went up to him and asked if he could pray for him and the man said yes. Jacob prayed with this man for his family and the man was very grateful. Later on we found out that a member of their family had passed away suddenly and the whole family was distraught. This is just a small example of the way that Jake loves others,” Kelsey said. “When Jacob first told me he felt God was calling him to go into law enforcement so that he could serve his community and minister to those around him, I was a little apprehensive due to the stress and sacrifice that this job would surely entail. Jacob began pursuing a career in law enforcement and was hired in July 2015 with Walton County. While there are times I worry, of course, I know without a shadow of a doubt this is where he wants to be and where God has called him to serve. Although the job is hard, Jacob is so fulfilled as a law enforcement officer and truly thrives in this role.
“I am so proud to be his wife and so grateful for all of the hard work and effort he dedicates to our family and to his community. If I searched the world over, I truly believe I could not have picked a better man to be my husband, protector, and father of my children. In just the one short week since our baby boy has joined us, Jacob still got up to help with late night diaper changes and feedings even though he was still finishing his final week of mandate. He is such a servant and I am so grateful for all he does for our family and his community.”
And as for little Jonah, well maybe there’s already a future member of law enforcement in training. Kelsey said he got to ride home from the hospital with his dad in the patrol car that WCSO had given him to drive to and from the training academy.