Police Academy worker, 80, kills self

By Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:20:20 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 22 2013 09:00:07 PM EST

VIDEO: Investigators say an 80-year-old woman who worked at the police academy for 30 years, and was scheduled to retire soon, took her own life this afternoon at the academy.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

An 80-year-old woman who worked at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Police Academy at Florida State College at Jacksonville's North Campus shot and killed herself Friday afternoon, according to police.

Investigators said, Phyllis Jean Frank, was going to lunch with a coworker around midday, and when they got to the car at 4700 Capper Road, she grabbed her coworker's registered gun, walked away and shot herself.

Police said Frank was set to retire in January after working as a receptionist at the Police Academy for 30 years. Police aren't sure if that was a factor in the suicide.

"It's saddening. It's always sad when anybody has issues and things happen, but this one's just kind of personal. I've know this lady for a long time," said T.C. Short, campus security officer in charge. "She's everybody's friend. The kind of person that would do anything for you."

"She is a fixture. She's always been there. She's around," JSO Director Tom Hackney said. "You come accustomed to seeing her, that smile she gives, and the smile you give back."

Hackney said a member of the police family is gone. He said while Frank technically worked for FSCJ at the Criminal Justice Education Center, she was the face of the Police Academy.

"She made no statement. This was very abrupt and obviously a decision she made, on some of the other investigative factors we have," Hackney said.

JSO doesn't believe the woman has family in town, but police say they were her family.

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