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For the week of January 17 through January 23, 2001

Hailey police chief retires

Express Staff Writer

After 39 years of police work, Hailey’s Police Chief Jack Stoneback will leave the force Jan. 26.

His first stop after retirement will be Las Vegas to see his daughter.

Stoneback said he impulsively moved to the valley in 1978 after he and his wife visited his parents, who had moved to Bellevue in 1976.

He said that after they had been here two days, he and his wife put money down on a home in Bellevue.

He said he wanted to move away from big cities to where there were good folks, no violence, and no crime. He wanted a good place to raise his kids.

When he got back to Irvine, where he was a police officer, Stoneback gave his two-week notice. Within two weeks he was walking out the door on his way to the Wood River Valley, without a job waiting for him—or so he thought.

Stoneback said the moving van was already down the road and he had one foot out the door, when he received a phone call. It was the Sun Valley Police Department with a job offer. He had applied when visiting his parents.

Stoneback worked for the Sun Valley department until 1990, when he joined the Hailey Police Department as chief.

He said the high point of his professional life was in helping people.

"This is what makes police work worthwhile," he said--getting to know people, helping people, saving lives, and making life better for people.

The low points in his professional life were the times he responded to calls when children had been killed or injured.

"Officers are trained to deal with death and injury," he said, but pointed out that such training doesn’t help much when a child has died.

Reflecting on his accomplishments, he said, "This department has come a long way with greater professionalism and education.

"I believe this department is the best in the valley with really good people dedicated to law enforcement."

He didn’t say who he would recommend to Mayor Brad Siemer to take his place, but he did say that "a lot can be said for promoting people from within the organization."

Stoneback will be honored at a retirement reception on Jan. 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Hailey Town Center Meeting Room. The public is invited.



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