Maui police mourn loss of MPD Executive Secretary, Terry Jones
February 24, 2022, 5:16 PM HST
* Updated February 26, 8:37 AM
The Maui Police Department is mourning the loss today of Terry Jones, the Chief’s Executive Secretary, who was killed in a motor vehicle crash this morning while pursuing a suspect who reportedly stole her purse, police said.
“I offer the department’s condolences to the Jones ʻohana and Terry’s work ʻohana, MPD,” said Maui Police Chief John Pelletier during a press briefing held Thursday afternoon.
“We lost one of our own today,” said Chief Pelletier, noting that Jones was the first person he hired when he became the department’s chief late last year. Jones, 55, was a resident of Makawao and had worked with the department for 32 years, starting her career on Feb. 1, 1990.
“We take this loss very personal. This did not need to happen,” said Chief Pelletier.
Jones suffered fatal injuries in a motor vehicle crash reported at 4:40 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. According to department reports, she was operating a 2018 Honda Pilot and was traveling north in the Kahului-bound direction on Kula Highway, when she lost control of the vehicle and collided into a large tree while attempting to negotiate a right turn onto Haleakalā Highway.
Prior to the collision, the police say she was pursuing an individual responsible for stealing her purse. According to police, the suspect or suspects, either took the purse from her personally, or they broke into her car.
“I would encourage you to turn yourself in,” said Chief Pelletier, who described Jones as the matriarch or mom of the department. “Everyone knew Terry. Everyone loved Terry. She would do anything for anyone. Some heroes wear capes, some wear uniforms, and some heroes wear regular clothes. Terry and other members of this agency that are not commissioned or not sworn are very much heroes.”
“There’s a void MPD has that most likely will never be filled. Terry did so much for so many people–so many charities–Special Olympics, Relay for Life… all the fundraisers she did, all the bake sales she did, she gave of her time and effort and her own money to do everything she could for everybody else,” said Chief Pelletier.
Six days ago, he commended Jones in front of the entire command staff for what he called “unselfish volunteer work and dedication to the betterment of this community.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the family with memorial expenses. According to the account, “Terry was [assisting her daughter in] delivering newspapers early in the morning when someone stole her purse from within her vehicle. The unknown person(s) got back into their car and attempted to flee; however, Terry began to follow the car and called 911.” The account had raised nearly $25,000 within the first 12 hours of being activated.
This was the sixth traffic fatality for the County of Maui this year, compared to one at the same time last year.
The Criminal Investigations Division is currently investigating the theft component of this incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Maui Police Department at 244-6400 and reference MPD report number 22-006236.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous is encouraged to call Maui Crime Stoppers at 808-242-6966. Maui Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards in the sum up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of people responsible for felony crimes; the recovery of stolen property or seizure of illegal drugs in felony cases or the capture of felony fugitives.