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For the week of January 24 through 30, 2001

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 nation."

Former Hailey mayor Roark

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," Siemer said.

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 by."

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 personality.

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.


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