Small town roots planted with a vision; Buds positive fruit for years to come
In the midst of fields, woods and rural roads lies the small town of Middle Grove in Monroe County. Although there is just one black top road, which takes you through the town, the small three-room schoolhouse still remains alive, instilling deep roots and values in the children who attend there. This rural town and school house was home to local Monroe County Chief Deputy Joe Colston growing up. It is in the heart of the rural community he planted the dream of having a career that would make a difference. Colston shared, “I liked the one on one time with the teachers. They took a special interest in helping each and every student.”
As a child Colston shared the desire to become a police officer, sharing he has always been curious by nature.
Colston attended school at Middle Grove C-1 until the eighth grade. After eighth grade, students attending the rural school had to choose to either finish their education at either Moberly or Madison high schools. Colston choose Madison stating, “I actually went to Moberly my freshman year but chose Madison for the remaining three because I liked the small town rural environment better.”
Colston graduated from Madison C-3 High School in 1995. Always desiring to help others, he choose to join the Fire Department and became an Emergency Medical Technician First Responder. In 2005, Colston was assigned as a Disaster Relief Employee for FEMA and worked in Florida for 45 days after Hurricane Wilma. Displaying his affection towards others, he stated, “I just felt compelled to go and help because there was a great need for it at the time.” While there, Colston did a variety of jobs to help including handing out information on SBA loans to help people rebuild, setting up temporary housing in some of the hard-hit areas, and interviewing and placement as well as inspections of temporary housing for hurricane victims. Colston shared the experience was life changing, stating, “It was difficult to see families displaced, especially families with small children. It made me grateful I could help in some small way and it was humbling to see people helping each other and seeing so many people volunteer.”
Returning to Missouri, Colston stated, “I wanted to do more for my community and signed up for the Police Academy.” He attended Moberly Area Community College Law Enforcement Training Center and graduated top of his class in 2006. With his roots as a Monroe County resident, he decided to stay local and was hired as a Monroe County Deputy after graduation.
Colston has filled many roles throughout his career, including field training officer, Sergeant and was promoted to Chief Deputy in 2010 for the Sheriff’s Office.
Colston stated, “I have always loved my job, but found investigations seemed to be what I enjoyed most. I like to find the pieces to the puzzle, helping give victims a voice and see some resolution.” Colston has worked hundreds of investigations throughout his career and was recently awarded with a plaque for the countless hours he spent on a four-year investigation. Sheriff David Hoffman spoke about his Chief Deputy stating, “Not only does he lead the deputies and ensure they are supported, he also is an excellent investigator, helps write and secure grants, and spends time to ensure he is knowledgeable on the ever-changing case law.”
After finding his strength and desire in investigative work, Colston continued his education with the FBI, attending Law Executive Development Training in 2011. He was honored by the Governor in 2017 during his inauguration and presented an Honor Coin. Sheriff Hoffman added, “No matter what the task, Chief Deputy Colston can always be counted on to achieve it with excellence.”
Colston explained his job stating, “As the Chief Deputy I am on-call 24 hours a day and seven days a week. I supervise the other Deputies, assisting them with questions they may have or being called out for an emergency.” Colston smiled as he shared the rewards of his job, explaining, “I take things as they come.” With a desire to help people improve lives, whether it be the victim or the person he arrested, he added about making a difference in the county, stating, “It is always nice to hear from those you have arrested, who have changed their life for the better, improving their own lifestyle and those around them.”
Although Colston admits his commitment to the job, stating, “I am married to my work,” he does love to spend time with his family when he is not working and enjoys traveling. Free time leads him to a hobby of fishing, adding, “Even though I don’t have nearly enough time to do so,” referring to how often he actually makes it to the bank to hook a fish.
Colston may wear the professional title of an officer, but fills the shoes of an important role model being the father of three sons, and partner to his special love, Jaccie Chaney, and her four children. Colston recently relocated to Monroe City, making this his home. He shared the community has been welcoming and friendly, adding, “I am getting to know the town.” He is also known as the Courthouse IT guru, as Hoffman explained, “You never know where you may see Joe, but you can guarantee he is helping serve others wherever he is.”
Having a heart for people, from his own personal family to the citizens of Monroe County or even those impacted by tragedy across the nation, Colston admits helping others receive hope makes his job and time invested worth the while. He stated, “My job is to discover all the facts but I’m always hopeful in doing that there is some kind of positive for the victim or victims. I always hope that’s the result.”