Police Chief Stoneback honored
Capt. Brian McNary to take over
"I wish every decision I made turned out as well
as that one [hiring Stoneback] did. We’d have a better city, state and
Former Hailey mayor Roark
By PETER BOLTZ
Express Staff Writer
Retiring Hailey Police Chief Jack Stoneback
was lauded by city officials during ceremonies Friday and Monday.
Stoneback had announced his retirement to
the city council on Jan. 8. Friday will be his last day as police chief
before starting a part-time job as Bellevue city administtrator.
On Monday, Mayor Brad Siemer presented
Stoneback with his badge and arm patch in a frame.
"Eleven years ago, one of my
predecessors, Keith Roark, had the good sense and good fortune to hire
Jack and charge him with building a professional police department,"
He then presented Stoneback with a personal
gift of a clock.
"These last three years, you have been
more than a chief to me, but an adviser, a mentor, and more than that, a
friend," Siemer said.
In turn, Stoneback praised the mayor and
the council for all they had done to support the police department.
"I don’t know what else to
say," he said, "except it is hard to believe 39 years has flown
Mayor Siemer announced that Capt. Brian
McNary would be taking Stoneback’s place as chief.
On Friday, the city held a retirement
reception for Stoneback in the council chambers.
"I wish every decision I made turned
out as well as that one [hiring Stoneback] did," Roark said. "We’d
have a better city, state and nation."
At Friday’s reception, Hailey Councilman
Rick Davis said, "I am thankful Mayor Roark hired him because before
Jack came here, the police department was the laughing stock of the
valley, and Jack changed that."
After a short pause, Davis said, "He’s
going to be missed."
Hailey Councilwoman Martha Burke called
Stoneback a "noble man."
She added that he "renews one’s
faith in what law enforcement is all about."
State representative Wendy Jaquet,
D-Ketchum, attended the reception and said she had served on several
committees with Stoneback, admiring him for his clarity and easygoing
What made him stand out in her eyes was his
"passionate concern for young people."
In an earlier interview, Stoneback said the
hardest thing for him as a policeman was being called to a scene where a
child had been killed or hurt.
In the same interview, he said he and his
wife had impulsively moved to the valley in 1978 after visiting his
parents, who had moved to Bellevue in 1976.
He said after they had been here two days,
he and his wife put money down on a home in Bellevue. They have since
moved to Hailey.