After serving 23 years as coordinator of the Los Banos PAL, Officer Noah Jones is honored as he is being inducted into the Junior Giants Hall of Fame during the San Francisco Giants preseason “play ball” luncheon on March 27.

Officer Jones will be retiring from his role in the Los Banos Police Department in December. He says “I hope I represented the police department well as an officer.”

Born in Escanaba, Michigan, Officer Jones is a proud Yooper (Michigan title for people from the Upper Peninsula). Jones’ family later moved to Los Banos where he established a family and career.

Officer Jones joined the Los Banos police department in December 1994. After serving the community as a patrol Officer for five years, Jones discovered an opportunity in the PAL program. Jones’ personality and love of sports was identified as a good fit for the program. Jones says, “I hope the families think it’s a positive, worthwhile experience.” He has been the PAL coordinator since 2000.

The Los Banos PAL program is one of only a few Junior Giant programs in California, Oregon and Nevada to have lasted since it started in ’95. When asked why the PAL program has been such a great hit in Los Banos, Jones credits the community with the success. He specifically remembers the 2012 season, an occasion where various Junior Giants programs were competing for the Buster Posey baseball field makeover contest.

To win the makeover, communities voted which made Los Banos seem like the underdog compared to Fresno, Stockton, and other larger cities competing. Los Banos rose to the occasion, some voting solely based on the enthusiasm of Jones and program participants. The Los Banos Junior Giants have also had the privilege of hosting the World Series trophy three times since the program inception.

Officer Jones was asked what advice or helpful tips he had for the person who would replace him. Jones did inform them to prepare for much longer trips to the grocery store. This was an unexpected part of being the PAL coordinator, a part he actually loves and will miss. He says he is “so glad to be a part of this program” and loves the way he is recognized by families in the community.

Officer Jones has had the great support of his family. March of 2023 is turning out to be a month of celebrations, as this is also the celebration of 26 years of marriage with his wife Ashley. Their oldest daughter, Samantha, is attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Their son, Grant, is currently a junior at Los Banos High School.

As Officer Jones and his wife, enter into retirement they are excited for this new phase in their lives. Jones says his family is made up of drivers, and he sees some road trips in their future. They will likely return to Michigan during syrup seasons (usually March through April) to enjoy hunting, fishing, and making maple syrup.

Courtney Andrade