(ELWOOD, Ks.) The Elwood Police Department and surrounding law enforcement agencies have said goodbye to former police chief and mentor Larry Hunsaker.
Chief Neal Hontz, Elwood Police Department, said Hunsaker passed away on Wednesday while visiting family in San Diego, California. The cause of his death has not yet been determined.
"He made the law enforcement community in this area stronger," Hontz said.
Hunsaker came to the Elwood Police Department in 1999 as a patrol officer. He later joined the Doniphan County Sheriff's Office, where he eventually became Sheriff. He then went back to Elwood Police where he was made Chief until retiring in August 2019 in his early 60's.
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"He was always ready to help, eager to help his citizens, help other agencies within the county do their job," Hontz said.
Hunsaker's career in Northeast Kansas spanned over two decades. The current Elwood Police Chief said he leaves behind a legacy of strength, friendship and years of service.
"You could tell he was just one of those people, it was between police work and emergency medical work," Hontz said. "Emergency services have always been in his blood."
Hontz added that Hunsaker joined the Elwood Police Department with a few years of previous experience as an officer. He said the former chief was a mentor to several of the officers who served with him throughout his career.
"He and I had a lot of late nights together working investigations and trying to solve crimes, and that's just good memories of a good partnership," Hontz said.
Hunsaker continued to serve the Doniphan County area after his retirement as a part-time investigator with the Doniphan County Sheriff's Department.
"When you take that kind of position you become a family and friend to everybody in town," Hontz said.
Funeral services have not been made yet, but Hontz said the department along with surrounding law enforcement agencies will hold a send-off for their former chief and sheriff in the near future.