Officer Robert Jordan served in the Divisions of Patrol, Operational Support and Criminal Investigation for the St. Louis Police Department. He was also a Police Recruiter and received numerous letters of commendation and appreciation from the department and the community he served. Husband to school teacher Emmagene Jordan, father of five from toddler to teenager, and photography hobbyist, Officer Jordan was not only an exceptional police officer, but a man who loved his family and community.
In February of 1981, Officer Jordan saw great potential and encouraged Sgt. (Ret.) Byron “Sarge” Watson to become a police officer. “Robert was very dedicated to law enforcement, and he was concerned about the lack of minority officers on the department. He encouraged me to put in an application.” Later that year, Sgt. (Ret.) Watson joined the academy and was hired by the St. Louis County Police Department before walking at graduation. “I will never forget how proud Robert was when I told him that I got hired. He told me that he couldn’t wait to watch me walk across the stage at my graduation ceremony.” Tragically, Officer Jordan never got to see his friend graduate.
Four months prior to the commencement, on May 16, 1981, Officer Jordan was robbed at gunpoint while shopping with one of his children. The suspect demanded Officer Jordan’s wallet, and upon opening the wallet saw Officer Jordan’s police badge. The suspect shot Officer Jordan three times in the chest, killing him. Sgt. (Ret.) Watson remembers when he heard the news of Officer Jordan’s death, “I was totally devasted. I dedicated my academy training to him, and on the days when I wanted to give up, I would think about how disappointed Robert would have been. I graduated in September, and as I walked across the stage, I could feel Robert’s presence.”
After three decades in law enforcement, Sgt. (Ret) Watson is now the chaplain for the St. Louis County Police Department. In 1997 he became a BackStoppers Family Friend volunteer, and in 2017 he became a Family Friend to Officer Jordan’s widow, Emmagene. For over 25 years, Sgt. (Ret.) Watson was Emmagene’ s escort for the Annual Prayer Breakfast held in Clayton. This past August Emmagene Jordan passed away at the age of 80. Sgt. (Ret.) Watson reflects on the years he spent with both Officer Robert Jordan and Emmagene Jordan, “I owe my career to the Jordan family. They have always been my inspiration, and I really miss them.”
Officer Jordan’s daughter, Renate Kirksey, was two years old at the time he was killed. Renate is now a second-grade teacher for Parkwood Elementary, and she shares what inspired her to teach, “My family has had many educators, including my late mother. Within education are the principles of service and family. I was ultimately inspired by my mother to enter the field of education.”
The integrity and dedication to helping others that Renate’s parents instilled in her has been applied to her teaching career. She shares how she honors her parents’ teachings, “I honor and remember my parents by continuing the beautiful values and traditions they taught and modeled for us. Service and family were among the very important foundations established by both of my parents.”
After hearing the news of Renate’s mother passing away, the Parkwood Elementary Principal, Melissa Yount-Ott offered to hold casual dress days among the faculty with proceeds benefiting BackStoppers in honor of Officer Robert Jordan and Emmagene Jordan. The fundraiser raised over $300 for BackStoppers!
The Jordan family made a difference in their community and changed lives for the better. We are honored to have served and assisted the Jordan family. We will never forget the sacrifice Officer Robert Jordan made and we will continue to remember him.
“The BackStoppers is an organization that has helped my family tremendously since the untimely and unexpected tragic loss of my father. The BackStoppers support helped ease the weight with financial assistance for my mother and her five children. Words cannot express the gratitude my family has for the effort of the BackStoppers for not only my family, but all the families served. We look forward to helping support the organization that supports so many families of our local service heroes that will never be forgotten.” – Renate Kirksey