BIO Index

Kent Jurney


I will not attend the reunion as one of my sons is graduating from law school on May 14th. After speaking with Steve Byers, Bennett Taylor, and Bobby Watson, I am certain that I will miss reminiscing about all the things we thought we did, and or, wished we had done. SHS was great and I often wonder if everyone had as much fun as I, or remembers it as such.

I swore an oath to (or at, not really sure which) Uncle Sam in February of 61 and found myself on a bus going to Fort Benning two days after graduation. This led to a series of training at camps or forts with names like Jackson, Leonard wood, Meade, Perry, and Belvoir which all qualified me for duty in Bayreuth Germany where I arrived in December of 61 and stayed until July of 64 (did have a short, non combat, visit to SE Asia). Due to good luck I received my discharge just 5 days prior to LBJ deciding on a "police action" in SE Asia. I enjoyed my tour of duty in Germany where I was able to play at many things to include football with the continental league.

In 64/65 I applied for the Florida Highway Patrol, who at the time, felt my driving record needed some time to "mellow" so they did not hire me until 67. I was assigned to Miami where everyone else had a similar driving record... After regularly putting in for a transfer, over a five period, they agree to my request. I am not sure how, but I had fallen in love with the culture, the water sports, and the city and decided to stay. I used the GI bill to go to college and was offered a job teaching in the police academy, upon receiving my masters, and working towards a doctorate (which I did not finish) they offered me employment at Miami Dade Community College where I retired in 98 as a Professor of Criminal Justice. While at the college I chaired a few committees, became involved with the community, volunteered for a lot of boards and by some accident became known in the area as a security expert. When German tourists were being killed in Miami I became the spokes person for the Greater Miami Chamber (trying to convince the world press that it was a safe city and the dead tourists were an unfortunate event). At some point I wrote a grant to evaluate campus security in community colleges. The grant was awarded and resulted in a publication that no one has ever read. In 76 I formed a small company doing polygraph, premise liability assessments, and investigations for civil and criminal attorneys (on both sides of the system) and many law enforcement agencies.

My career has allowed me to meet and participate first hand in many of the events of our time to include the cocaine cowboys, Vietnam demonstrators, civil rights movements, riots, and other events that seem to have come with the paycheck. I was part of the crowd control detail for the 68 and 72 Republican and Democrat national conventions on Miami Beach. I have assisted many different police departments as a polygraph examiner/interviewer to include the Nassau County Police Department in NY to help "slow down" the cocaine pipeline. This resulted in many Yankee friends who got smart and retired in warm South Fl. My different occupations have allowed me to meet and spend time with everyone from presidents and civil rights leaders, to the infamous such as Ted Bundy (I sometimes work with a real high class of people). The Florida Highway Patrol afforded me many opportunities and I stay involved as a member of their advisory board. By far the most rewarding experience came from the class room and many of my old students stay in touch.

On a personal note I married in 66 to a lady who has two children from a previous marriage. We have one child of our own and in 1982 went our separate ways. The children are doing great with two in law enforcement in Miami and one working for the school board in Manatee County. Between the three of them I have 8 grandchildren.

In 84, I met Martha Caraballo in the Dade County Jail. We were married in 85 and have two children who are both Gators and now attending law school. Martha is a linguist, who worked for Professional Translators, and was in the jail to translate a polygraph on a marialito who liked small children. Martha is not only my wife and my love, but my partner in all that I do. She has given me the ability to expand our business, which she runs, and is still surviving in this economy. In 99, after retiring from the state, I took a job with a national company, and fortunately still employed. In addition to the business Martha stays busy with BSF and the Melisa Foundation which fights violence against children through education. I have given up many of my community service projects but remain on the board of Saint Thomas University which is the leading champion for identifying and fighting human trafficking in the world. In summary we will greatly miss being with you in May and hope that other opportunities will occur in the future.

In the mean time we enjoy boating, the arts and travel, and hope that you will let us know whenever any of you are in Miami.

Kent

Kent Jurney
 


Ryan, Jennifer, Me and Martha at Jennifer's graduation from UF


Teddy, our Goldendoodle