Pneumonia claims one of Canada’s longest-serving police chiefs

March 16, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

Carman Lemcke, Shelburne’s longest serving police chief and one of the longest serving across all of Canada, has passed away at the age of 85.

Mr. Lemcke, who served with the Shelburne Police Service for 37 years, from 1956 to 1993, was struck with pneumonia last Thursday (March 8). Following a brief battle with the illness, he passed away on Tuesday.

Known simply as ‘The Law’ for generations in Shelburne, Carman spent his first 12 months in the community as a constable before assuming the position of chief in 1957. He would spend the next 36 years running the community’s long-standing police service, becoming one of the longest serving police chiefs in Canadian history.

Tributes have poured in from the community over the past 24 hours, with many remembering Carman for his years of extraordinary service. A post to the Shelburne Police Service’s Facebook page read “Today, the Shelburne Police Service lost a patriarch in their family.”

Speaking to the Citizen, Shelburne Police Chief Kent Moore remembers the man who gave him his start at the local force.

“Carman Lemcke hired me back in January of 1987 and I had the pleasure of working under his command for several years,” Chief Moore said. “As a past chief of police, Carman was unwavering in his commitment to ensuring community safety in the Town of Shelburne. His influence and leadership, both professionally and as a community member, has led to the betterment of our Town.”

He added, “His passing has a significant impact on our police service. We will remember past chief Lemcke with great respect and gratitude. Our sincere sympathies are extended to his family at this sad time.”

A visitation will take place at the Jack and Thompson Funeral Home in Shelburne today (Thursday) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The funeral service will be at the Royal Canadian Legion in Shelburne on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Former Shelburne Mayor Ed Crewson will deliver the eulogy.

One of Carman’s two sons, Bruce, is currently a constable with the Orangeville Police Service. He previously spent 35 years with Peel Regional Police. Remembering his dad and looking back on his extensive career in Shelburne, Bruce said he believes the sheer number of tributes that have been flooding in since his father’s passing is a testament to the job his dad did in the community.

“I know what my dad was about. It means so much to me to hear what the public thought about him. There are people I haven’t seen, haven’t spoken to for 30 years putting stuff up online about my dad. Those are the things that help put a smile on my face right now,” Bruce said.

From all of us here at the Citizen, Rest In Peace, Carman Lemcke.

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