December 22, 1972 – March 27, 2020
NHP Sergeant Benjamin Michael Jenkins was born on December 22, 1972 in San Diego, CA. He was raised by his parents, Thomas F and Janyce E. Jenkins in the Elko Area and could often be seen riding his bike around Elko, slaying bass at Ruby Lake Wildlife Refuge or hanging out at the Baseball Fields and playing Babe Ruth Baseball. He attended school in Elko and graduated from Elko High School in 1991. During High School, he was a member of the EHS Wrestling Team and was a member of the EHS Choraliers. He still enjoyed attending their annual Christmas Concerts throughout the years.
He proudly dedicated his life to volunteering and public service. Ben always joked that he was still trying to decide what he wanted to be when he grew up. After graduating from High School, he joined the Military and served honorably in both the Air National Guard and Army National Guard. He worked for both Newmont and Barrick Goldstrike Mines. While working for Barrick, he earned his EMT License and joined the Mine Rescue Team which began his journey in the EMS and Fire Services. He was a volunteer firefighter for both the Lee Engine Company and Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Departments. He served as an Assistant Chief for the Spring Creek VFD for a short time. He was also a member of the Nevada State Firefighters Association and served as a member of their Board of Directors. Ben spent quite a few years working with some of his fire family at Burning Man Station 5, which he always enjoyed. He also volunteered as an EMT Intermediate for the Elko County Ambulance Service and maintained his EMT License until recently. His latest adventure has been volunteering with the Nevada Outdoorsmen in Wheelchairs group, helping to provide hunting experiences to individuals who are confined to wheelchairs. In his spare time, Ben enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, camping and sharing his love of the outdoors with his family. He deeply loved his family and was fiercely protective of his children however his grandchildren were the apples of his eye. He loved being able to talk to them on facetime and will always be remembered for the funny faces that he would make at them.
Ben spent the last 21 years working for the State of Nevada. He began his career as a Crew Supervisor for the Nevada Division of Forestry and spent 5 years fighting wildland fires, responding to natural disasters and working on many different community service projects. He was hired by the Department of Public Safety, Fire Marshal Division and spent 5 years as a Training Officer. He taught volunteer firefighters across the state of Nevada about firefighting tactics, hazardous materials, emergency response and investigating fires. He decided that he wanted to become a fire investigator, however he did not have the POST Training that was required for that position. He was not about to let that stop him so, he tested and was hired by the Highway Patrol Division as a trooper, earning his POST Certification. He had finally found his calling as a Law Enforcement Officer and has proudly served in the Traffic, K-9 and Commercial Divisions for the last 11 years. Although he switched gears, he continued learning and training new troopers in different aspects of their jobs. His passion while working for NHP was to reduce impaired driving, reduce injuries and fatalities on our roadways and doing interdiction work to remove drugs from our roadways and streets. Ben was promoted to Sergeant in 2017 and looked forward to retiring in the next few years, spending more time traveling and spoiling his grandchildren. His life was tragically cut short on March 27th, 2020 when he was shot and killed in the line of duty after he stopped to help a disabled motorist and was fatally wounded.
Ben is preceded in death by his dad, Thomas F Jenkins; his grandparents John and Julia Jenkins and Richard and Lois Myers; aunt, Joyce E. Rose; cousins, Eric Patton, Jessica Vignolo, and followed in death by his father-in-law, Rodney C. Mothershead.
He is survived by his mom, Janyce Jenkins; wife, Jodi Jenkins; children, Jessica (Jacob) Quaintance, Michael (Candice) Jenkins, Ashlie Jenkins, and Cody Jenkins; grandchildren, Xander Redd, Aydin, Devynn, and Aspyn Jenkins & Payson Quaintance ; brother Thomas Jenkins; mother-in-law JoAnn Mothershead and a large extended family.
A memorial service will be held to honor his life at 10:00 am on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at the Elko High School Football Field.
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