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Hero Down: Klawock Police Department Chief Terry Stonecipher Dies Unexpectedly

Klawock, AK – Klawock Police Department (KPD) Chief Terry Stonecipher died unexpectedly at his home on Jan. 9.

Alaska State Troopers from Prince of Wales Island responded to the Klawock community at approximately 2:57 a.m. after receiving a report of an unresponsive male at a residence, the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a press release.

Troopers performed “lifesaving measures,” but the 60-year-old police chief was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene, according to the DPS.

Investigators said no foul play is suspected.

Chief Stonecipher’s body was transported to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s Office.

His exact cause of death was not immediately released.

“It is with a heavy heart we share that City of Klawock Chief Terry Stonecipher passed unexpectedly early this morning,” the City of Klawock said in a press release. “To honor Chief Stonecipher for his many years of service to our community, City flags will fly at half-mast. Thank you Chief Stonecipher for all your years of law enforcement service.”

Chief Stonecipher served as the KPD’s police chief since 2005, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

He was the only member of the single-man department, which serves a community of approximately 800 residents.

Chief Stonecipher also oversaw the town’s emergency medical services, fire, police, and search and rescue agencies, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The longtime police chief worked for law enforcement agencies in Bethel and Metlakatla prior to stepping into his role at the KPD.

“It’s a huge loss,” Klawock Mayor Nick Nickerson told the Anchorage Daily News. “Our whole community is in shock.”

Nickerson said Chief Stonecipher was known to go “above and beyond” the call off duty when it came to assisting the residents of his community.

“He was very kind, very polite,” the mayor told the Anchorage Daily News. “He was busy but made a point to get to you if issues came up. It didn’t matter if it was a DUI report or a barking dog, he was there.”

Chief Stonecipher leaves behind his wife, Juliet, and his four children, KTOO reported.

“We hold his wife and children in our prayers during this difficult time,” the City of Klawock said.

A fundraising campaign established to help his family in the wake of their loss has raised $2,550 so far.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Klawock Police Department Chief Terry Stonecipher, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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