Jessica Jean CheneyVirginia State Police, Virginia
End of Watch: Saturday, January 17, 1998
Reflections for Trooper II Jessica Jean Cheney
Jessica, I met your parents at the Parents Retreat 2005. It was my first retreat as our son Mark Jones lost his life in the line of duty 2-27-05. Your parents are wonderful people and they are very proud of you and miss you very much. Your Dad and Mark's dad have the military in common. We struck up quite a friendship. If you can believe it, I got your Dad to "square dance." Really surprised your Mom. Having met your parents, I know that you were a wonderful, caring person. You are missed as much today-8 years later-as ever. Keep the streets of Heaven safe and find my boy-I know you will be good buddies.
Darlene Jones/mother of Cpl.Mark Jones
February 26, 2006
You are a hero. Rest in peace my sister in blue. May God bless your family.
State Constable J.L. Green
S.C. State Constables
February 15, 2006
I can't believe it's been 8 years now that you've been gone from us. Will I ever get to a day I don't think about, talk about or miss you terribly? You're still such a huge part of my life and I miss my best friend. I'm not sure people understand that the one person I depended on for talking about anything & everything, without judgment or repercussions, the person I can spend an entire day with in my pj's & not say a word but knows exactly what I'm thinking & feeling, almost before I do, the person I loved to get in trouble with and did, has been taken from me. The one person that was my sidekick my entire life... I hate this!!!
C. Romaine Cheney
Sister, VA Tpr. Jessica J. Cheney
January 18, 2006
Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you on this day, you will never be forgotten. Thank you for your sacrific you gave all.
Say Hi to Clint for me tell him I still love him the most, you'll get a laugh out of him.
Mother of Clint Walker E.O.W. 1-14-04
January 17, 2006
I remember meeting Jessica in passing working auto crashes when I was with Fire and EMS in Stafford, Va. My wife and I miss Jessica still. We try to get up to the Nat'l Memorial each year. Jessica will be missed always. She was a good Trooper and a good EMT. The paramedic that took care of her was the best. She was in very good hands. God please take care of Jessica.
G. Kevin Kemp, NREMT-I
Florence County EMS
December 17, 2005
I still remember your dad sharing your letters with me when we were deployed those many years ago. Every time I visited your house, you and your sister always treated me as a member of your family, not just as one of "Daddys Navy friends". I was so pleased when you realized your dream of becoming a state trooper and deeply saddened by your tragic loss. I think of you often, especially around this time of year. Rest in peace.
USN(ret), Upper Saddle River NJ VFD
December 13, 2005
Jessica was one of the finest, nicest people I have had the privilage with whom to work. I wasn't able to see her blossom as I caught her earlier in life, but I can still see that smile and dedication. I never heard her have a harsh word for anyone and I never heard anyone have a harsh word for her. To all the family, God Bless..
December 9, 2005
Hey Sweet Girl,
Yet another birthday without you and as much as I love the people in my life, it's just not the same without you here. I miss you so much today!! One thing we both loved was birthdays and Christmas. I can still see your face when you gave me those Victorian Barbie's from Hallmark my last birthday with you. You were so proud to have gotten me something you knew I loved. I still cherish them!!
C. Romaine Cheney
Sister, VA Tpr. II Jessica J. Cheney
November 8, 2005
Almost everyday since moving here this summer, I drive out of Aquia and over the Jessica J. Cheney Memorial Bridge. I have been curious as to who the bridge was named in honor of, so today I finally looked it up. With tears in my eyes, I want to thank you for your service. My husband and son are both Marines, and my cousin's family are police, sherriffs, EMT's, firefighters, and nurses. My young cousin is a female patrol officer in Corona CA... Jessica would be about her age, only a little older. Very sad.. My best to your family... you will always love and miss her, but she will always be with you in your hearts.
Donella Spencer, Proud American Civilian
USMC wife and mother, Aquia/Stafford resident
October 27, 2005
It's me again. It's been a year since my last post. I stopped by the site again and saw all of the wonderful, heart-felt reflections that everyone has left. I drive by the cemetary every day on the way to work. On one hand it's sad, but on the other, everytime I drive by, I think about you, and then my thoughts turn to happier times. I can't help but smile when I think of all the good times. I hope that you can read all of these, and know how much you are missed by all.
P.S. - I know it's been a while ago, but, I remeber the dream, but I don't understand it. Still trying though.
October 25, 2005
Jay is still in our hearts.
I knew Jay as a little girl when her wonderful family first came into our lives. I flew back from the west coast to attend her H.S. graduation, she was close in age to my three girls. They spent quite a few holidays roaming the Newfoundland hills as kids, and later the Virginia back roads as teens.
I'll never forget Jay and Romaine "learning" to drive a stick shift on my 5.0 liter Capri. They almost destroyed that clutch! I thought Rich would never stop laughing, and Sue thought me a complete idiot because she knew what I was in for!
Our family camping trips and adventures are almost legendary, and Jay was always willing to do whatever her big sister and my raucus crew of girls wanted.
Jay was always so bold and sure of herself. This Marine and former Deputy Sheriff never doubted for a minute she would make a great trooper. She was tough when she needed to be.
Then that awful morning when Rich called me, bearing news of the unbearable. He told me of the one thing no loving parent ever wants to share, the terrible news of a child's passing...Jay was gone.
The red-eye flight to Virginia passed in a blur, delays, re-routing, lost luggage, me dressed in southern california casual. After a long sleepless night, Virginia greeted me with a dismal, bitterly cold day. It felt appropriate for the sad occassion that brought me back. I felt cold and bitter.
But after I landed, a trooper met me, and drove me to the funeral site. (Sue and Rich still thinking of others at such a time was amazing.)I'd missed the funeral service, but no one could miss the more than one thousand vehicles that marked the path to her resting place. I stood there and watched in silence as emergency vehicles of every stripe drove in to the cemetary. Finally, Rich and Sue drove up. Rich came over and asked me join them in the car as final arrangements were made. I was glad they did. We laughed a bit about my clothes, I felt self-conscious being dressed so casual, but Sue was more worried at how blue and numb I was from the cold.
Afterward, Rich and I had a few days to sort things out, reflect on the good old days, and do what men do at times like this.
We spoke of God and such, the assurance of Jay being in heaven was so very comforting. I cannot imagine the pain of someone having a godless world view and then losing a loved one. How empty that must feel.
Some years later, Rich and Sue attended my oldest daughter's wedding, and we still stay in touch. His family is so very special to us, they have all given so much to this nation and it's citizens. No one can ever say thank you enough.
Miss ya Jay! I hope the Marine guarding the gates of heaven saluted smartly when you came through! As John 3:16 promises and Jesus assures us, I'll be there with you some day.
Colonel Steven C. Morgan
USMC, ECSD, SRCSD
October 7, 2005
I met your sister at the Siblings Retreat almost a month ago and we talked about you and my brother, Keith. You two, of course, were the reasons why we were there. Your sister was very nice to me and talked about you a great deal. I believe she was one out of a handful that had lost a sister in the line of duty. She was very proud of you. She even wore shirts with the two of you on them. I really related to your sister because I saw that she had a lot of same types of memories that I had with my brother. We are both proud of you and Keith and know that you are smiling down on us from a better place. May you rest in peace until the day we meet in Heaven.
Brother of Keith Cannon EOW 5/4/05
October 4, 2005
Another summer has come to a end. I was just thinking of those long hot days we we all endured. How we all started looking forward to the fall and the holidays. I still reflect on Christmas of 97. When all of us were laying around laughing, smiling and talking about about our new careers. As the holidays approach I wanted you to know that you are still loved, missed and thought of in our daily lives.
Thank you for touching my life.
September 15, 2005
Just wanted to let you know you've been in my heart a lot lately. You're always there but you're in the front of my thoughts. I think I look at Gavin and see so much of your spirit there and have to wonder if you have a hand in who he is!!
Happy Easter in Heaven and give Greg a hug for me. I love you!!
Sister, VA Tpr. II Jessica J. Cheney
March 28, 2005
I feel that it is important that you know that you are lost, but not forgotten even when not personally known. You paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting us. I'm sure you went to work every day with no regrets of being an officer. Although you have left us & your family, I'm sure that you've left many great memories behind for all. I'm sure you are dearly missed at this time of year near the Holidays & your birthday. I want to posthumously thank you for your great example.
Commonwealth of Virginia
January 19, 2005
Just wanted to thank you for the sacrifice you made while serving others. Your life touched so many, and I just wanted you to know that you will never be forgotten for the LIFE you lived. Your mom, dad and sister lost their world when you were taken from them. They miss you as much as ever.
Jess, I hope you saw the ornament I placed for you, Chris and my dad. I truly hope that you all are together all the time, just like you were on my Christmas tree. I'm sure that you all would be having a BALL together. Please give my dad a hug for me and tell him that I love him.
Thinking of you!
Valarie Bell Wright, Daughter of Ptl. Wi
and Friend of Romaine Cheney
January 17, 2005
You are not forgotten. Bless you for seving our state and nation. My God continue to bless your sister, parents, family and friends.
Chesterfield County Police Dept., Va.
January 17, 2005
By reading your reflections you were loved and respected. Please watch over your family. Continue your watch in heaven. Rest in peace my sister in blue.
December 26, 2004
Another birthday without you!! Honestly, I truly just don't understand how I can miss you more & more every day instead of feeling it get easier. I know you're with me in everything I do but I wish I could physically hug you and hear you tell me one more time you love me. You always loved birthdays & Christmas and made us feel so special when they came around and I miss that.
I love you & miss you more and more as time goes by.
Sibling, Tpr. II Jessica Jean Cheney
Virginia State Police, EOW 1-17-98
Sister of Tpr. II Jessica Jean Cheney
November 8, 2004
After almost 7 years, there is still rarely a day that goes by that I don't think about you. You were taken from us all way too soon. We all miss you. You are still making people smile. I remember the last time that I saw you. It was at the Fairgrounds at a Hank Williams Jr. concert. I wish I had known that it would have been the last time, I would have said so much more. But, I know that you knew I cared about you a lot. Sometimes I wish that I could go back to the PKD and JSR days. We all had such a good time. Keep watch over the rest of us, and know that we love and miss you very much. Until we meet again...DP
October 20, 2004
My dearest Jessica,
It will soon be 6 years since you've been taken from us and it's not any easier without you. Things are so crazy at times, the dynamics of our family still built by love but completely different, and one thing stays true, our love for you. It has taken me this long to learn how to deal without you in my life. If that's what you call it, dealing.
I finally went to the Siblings Retreat with COPS and I'm feeling you more and more in my heart and actions every day. Instead of concentrating on what I lost when I lost you, I'm learning to rejoice in your spirit that is still with me to let others see you as I see you. I hope I make you proud!!
Know that I never have a day that I don't think of you and wish you were here. Not that you probably don't hear me talking to you all the time. Did you see me getting that tattoo over my right shoulder in your honor?? Yes, you were worth that danged needle because now you're always with me too.
Love and miss you more than words can ever describe.
Your devoted sister
December 11, 2003
your tour is over, god will be with your family, we will see each other again some day. i wish every trooper could have you and learn from your geat attitude. you will be missed.
thanks for all you did
va state police
How interesting that although I've never been in Virginia my entire life I sort of feel like I've known Trooper Cheney for many years.
Such a shortened life and career but the rest of us left can only hope to touch as many people. Rest in peace my dear sweet sister in blue.
With much love,
Memphis Int'l Airport Police
Trooper Jessica Jean Cheney. My Friend, My Hero.
I still remember the first time I met Trooper Cheney. I was one of only a few people in the office at the time. I watched as all six new troops trickled out of the sergeant's office and into the trooper's work area. I noticed how all six stood together. I remembered what it felt like to be new in the area. I walked over to them and introduced myself. "Pleased to meet you, sir!" was the reply. The Virginia State Police Academy had trained them well. As we stood by the office mailboxes, I noticed I was now doing most of the talking, except for one. This trooper was clearly eager to get started and wasted no time asking questions. Revealed in those eyes was an excitement that I would soon see many times again. We finished talking and I headed for home. I left the office with more energy than I had when I first arrived. This trooper's enthusiasm was contagious. In just a short time, I had gone from "sir" to friend. I shall never forget this day. This was the day I met Trooper Jessica Cheney.
Upon her arrival in Area 5, Fredericksburg, Trooper Cheney hit the ground running. She had good reason to be excited. Trooper Cheney had been planning this part of her life for some time now. As early as eighth grade, Jessica had made known her goal of becoming a Virginia State Trooper.
Jessica started on her career path while a sophomore at King William High School. She was hired in June 1990 at Paramount's King's Dominion, a large commercial amusement park located in Hanover, Virginia. Jessica worked as a communication’s dispatcher for three years. In June 1993 Jessica was sworn in as a Special Park Police Officer of Hanover County. A bike patrol security unit was formed at the park in June 1995. Jessica was among the first to serve in this unit.
As a high school junior, Jessica applied for acceptance to the Virginia State Police Junior Law Cadet Program and was selected to attend. Trooper Cheney graduated the Junior Law Cadet Program in June 1991. Trooper Cheney was the first person to ever graduate from the Junior Law Cadet Program and then return to become a Virginia State Trooper.
In May 1995, Jessica graduated from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College with an Associate's Degree in Administration of Justice.
In November 1994, Jessica began her first employment with the Department of State Police. She was hired as a call-taker in the communications room at Division I, Richmond. Jessica served in this capacity until June 1995. It was during this time that Jessica, twenty years of age, applied to the Department for the position of trooper.
On December 1, 1995, the first half of Jessica Jean Cheney's near lifelong goal was realized. Jessica was hired by the Department of State Police for the position of trooper only 77 days after her twenty-first birthday. She was among the youngest troopers ever hired by the Department, whose minimum age requirement is twenty-one. From this day forward she would be Trooper Jessica J. Cheney.
Trooper Jessica J. Cheney graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy on June 14, 1996. At the time of her graduation, Trooper Cheney was the youngest trooper in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Trooper Cheney was also the youngest female trooper to ever graduate from the Virginia State Police Academy.
I had the privilege of being assigned as one of Trooper Cheney 's field training officers (FTO) for a brief time. I recalled how it felt to sit beside my FTO in the driver’s seat of my blue and gray for the first time, learning the ways of a Virginia state trooper. It is a feeling every trooper has experienced.
I remember one of our days on patrol together. Trooper Cheney drove and I took my place beside her. We headed out to patrol the interstate. While on patrol Trooper Cheney observed a reckless driver ahead of us. She never hesitated. The expression on her face said more than words could ever say. She was so calm and yet there again was that certain excitement in her eyes. This expression soon became familiar to me. She looked as though she was concentrating her very best not to smile. I soon found myself doing the same. I was happy for her. I knew how hard she had worked for this day. Jessica was living her dream. We had only ridden together for a short time and already I knew that seated beside me was someone very special. For many, finding one's niche in life takes quite awhile. What a great joy it was to watch someone who found it so early.
I remember working on paperwork at the office on many occasions. I heard a key rattling the lock to the office door. As the door opened, I recognized who it was in an instant. There was no mistaking that cheerful voice. Trooper Cheney had entered the building and everyone knew it. The room seemed to grow a little brighter. As if her cheery disposition wasn't enough, I looked over and now saw the smile. It was consuming. I always hoped my paperwork was finished before she walked into the office. The stack of papers on the desk never seemed quite as important once she arrived. I waited for the jokes to start. Jessica was instant medicine for the troubles of the day.
It was a matter of routine for Jessica to have worked a full day on the road as a trooper and then run calls with the local volunteer rescue squad for hours. She always placed the interests of others ahead of those of herself. Jessica was a public servant in the truest sense of the term. Among other things, I admired her for that.
In late December 1997, Jessica and her parents planned a trip to Washington, D.C. Jessica invited me along. It had been quite awhile since I went sightseeing in Washington D.C. I decided I would go along. Jessica insisted from the start of the day that there was one display she absolutely had to see before leaving for home. It was difficult to keep up with her, but I did my best. As I turned the corner there she stood, admiring the ruby red slippers that had taken Dorothy to Oz and back. She beamed a smile so bright it outshone the display. I wondered how something so simple could make someone so happy. This was Jessica.
Jessica and I worked our last shift together over the New Year's holiday. We were midnight shift partners assigned to patrol Stafford County. She was ill with a severe cold. She refused to take leave, realizing it would leave me by myself on the midnight shift. On the last night of our shift, I stopped a vehicle on Interstate 95 for a reckless driving violation. As I sat in my patrol vehicle filling out the summons, I noticed a vehicle pull in behind me and stop. I exited my patrol vehicle to investigate. After a few steps I recognized the car. The front window rolled down and revealed the driver's face. Jessica laughed. "I didn't scare you, did I?" she said with a large grin. I just smiled. She told me she wanted to make sure I was O.K. She was clearly proud of herself for startling me. Jessica opened my front passenger's door and sat down beside me. We talked for awhile about the events of the shift. Jessica loved to talk. Those conversations were golden and I cherished every moment. As Jessica opened the door to leave she turned towards me and told me to be careful. I told her I would and asked her to do the same. She closed the door and I watched her as she walked away. She cared about her shift partner. I cared about her too. It was comforting to work with someone who took the time to check on their partner. She always went the extra mile. That was just Jessica. This was the last shift Jessica and I would ever work together.
Jessica Jean Cheney certainly left her mark on the world. She touched the lives of so many people in such little time. Trooper Cheney was young, but she was anything but inexperienced. Looking back I have often wondered, who trained whom? Who was the real field training officer? I learned more from Jessica about life than she ever did from me about becoming a trooper. She helped me to recognize what is important in life. I know in my heart that I am not her only student. As I drive my patrol vehicle I often look over and see the empty seat beside me. It is but one more vivid reminder of times past. I remember when Jessica sat there beside me and through the mist I realize just how fortunate I was. I shall carry her memory in my heart for all the days of my life. Her smile brightened my darkest days. Trooper Cheney's dedication to serving her fellow man was unequivocal and her devotion to the Commonwealth of Virginia unsurpassed. Trooper Cheney made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of her duty. I am proud to say that Trooper Jessica J. Cheney was my friend. Trooper Jessica J. Cheney is my hero.
There is an old American Indian prayer of unknown origin. Like Jessica's life, it is brief. Just the same, it holds great meaning. I respectfully dedicate this prayer to the memory of my fallen hero, Jessica.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world will cry and you will rejoice.
Rejoice, Jessica, for the world will forever cry.
My sister wanted a couple of things in life, but her ultimate goal was to be a trooper with the VA State Police. She met that goal on December 2, 1995, when she started the VA State Police academy. She was a trooper for only a short amount of time and I believe with all my heart, she made a huge difference to many of the people she came across as a trooper.
Jessica was loved by many and was loved deeply by my parents and myself. She is always in my heart as well as in my mind. I miss you Jess!
C. Romaine Cheney
Henrico County Police Department
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