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Former Boise Police Chief John Church Dies at 83

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Former Boise Police John Church (1931-2015) - COURTESY BOISE POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy Boise Police Department
  • Former Boise Police John Church (1931-2015)
The Boise Police Department announced late Tuesday that past and present members of the force were mourning the death of former Chief John Church, the longest-serving chief in the department's history.

Church, who passed at age 83, is survived by his wife, three sisters, three children, five grandchildren and one great-grandson. The department said a small, private service was scheduled for Thursday, July 9 at Collister Community Church.

Born in Boise, Church was a Navy veteran and joined the Boise Police Department in 1954, where he rose through the ranks to become chief in 1968. He oversaw the growth of the department from 60 sworn officers to 140 officers upon his retirement in 1983. Church crafted the neighborhood team policing concept with the creation of four neighborhood divisions in 1975.

A devout Christian, after his retirement Church would attend graduations at the Police Officers Training Academy to offer the benediction.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Boise Veterans Hospital or the Wounded Warrior Project.