BY BENJAMIN GOHS, EDITOR
A longtime local law enforcement official who served for over a quarter of a century in Boyne died on May 20.
Former Boyne City Assistant-Chief of Police Jeffrey Gettel, who retired back in November 2011, died at his home at the age of 55.
“This weekend, on Saturday, we were advised that we’ve lost one of our own with the passing of Jeff Gettel,” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain at the opening of the Tuesday May 24 Boyne City Commission meeting. “Jeff Gettel was a longtime member of the Boyne City team.”
He added, “Jeff came to us as a police officer on Aug. 30, 1985, after working with the Charlevoix County Sheriff (Office).”
Gettel served with the sheriff office for six years.
Then, in October 1991, Gettel became the Boyne City Assistant-Chief of Police.
“Overall, he had 26 years of service with our police department and he did an excellent job in all of his roles and capacities with us,” Cain said.
Gettel, who had retired to Georgia, is survived by a son, daughter and wife.
“I knew and worked with Jeff for many years … always had very professional encounters with him,” Cain said. “He always had a very positive attitude and outlook.”
Retired Charlevoix County Sheriff George T. Lasater also shared some memories of Gettel.
“I gave Jeff his first job in law enforcement after he got out of the certification academy and (he) worked for me for six years,” said Lasater. “Jeff was always very professional. He was a good people person. He always looked good in uniform and I appreciated that—he represented the sheriff’s office very well.”
Lasater said Gettel told him he enjoyed working with both former chiefs of police and he was complimentary of the city commission.
Lasater recounted the time when a perpetrator shot at Gettel in what resulted in a 12-hour standoff at a motel on M-66 outside of East Jordan.
“Gettel was the first officer on-scene,” Lasater said. “When he arrived, the perpetrator shot at him. And Jeff moved so fast he left his hat in the middle of the road.”
He added, jokingly, “And we always got a little mileage out of that.”
Lasater said Gettel’s actions earned him the Medal of Valor.
“He wore that … little ribbon on his uniform … until the day he left Boyne City,” Lasater said.
Boyne City Chief of Police Jeff Gaither said Gettel was a good officer who is gone too soon.
“I know that when he left the Boyne City Police Department there was a lot of respect for him and a lot of people felt really good because he’d been there and he’d done a lot of good stuff,” Gaither said.