BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
Boyne City’s longtime former chief of police died last Thursday in Grand Rapids.
Randy Howard, aged 65, had served Boyne City for nearly 35 years, beginning as a dispatcher in March of 1976 and going on to become a police officer in 1977, and eventually chief of police where he served from 1991 to December of 2011.
At the time of Howard’s retirement, Boyne City Manager Michael Cain had said, “I can honestly say I’ve never worked with a better chief of police than Randy Howard. He has served this department and this community, in my opinion, very well.”
Cain recently told the Boyne City Gazette that Howard oversaw and helped Boyne City transform from a rough and tumble community with frequent bar fights and portions of the city like Hippie Park, as Old City Park was once more commonly known, into a nice place where people could raise a family.
“He helped build the foundation on which our police department continues to be built,” said Cain. “The Boyne City Police Department’s bike patrol was created while he was chief, as was the Boyne City Drag Race, which continues today and, at the time of its creation, provided extra funding for both the Boyne City Airport and police department.”
At the time of his retirement, the Boyne City Gazette interviewed Howard on his leaving.
“While I look forward to enjoying my retirement I will miss being part of our team,” he had said, adding that he’d seen a fair amount of progress in his time here.
Howard liked to call Boyne City a “big little city.”
“We’re a stand-alone. We’re unique. We have unique characteristics in this city that no other place that I know of has—It’s a destination,” he said. “Boyne City is all about commitment, partnership, communication, shared decision-making and leadership.”
Funeral arrangements, which are being handled by the Winchester Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes, are to be announced at a later date. Online guestbook at: www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.
Boyne City will hold a moment of silence and remembrance for Howard at the beginning of the Tuesday April 22 regular Boyne City Commission meeting.