Klawock police chief’s death stuns community

The death of longtime police chief Terry Stonecipher has stunned the community of Klawock
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 3:18 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2023 at 6:18 PM AKST
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KLAWOCK, Alaska (KTUU) - The police chief and lone police officer serving the Southeast Alaska community of Klawock died unexpectedly on Monday morning, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Terry Stonecipher, age 60, had served the community of Klawock for over a decade, and worked in law enforcement since 2005.

On Jan. 9 at 2:57 a.m., Alaska State Troopers from the Prince of Wales detachment were called to the community of Klawock in response to reports of an unresponsive man inside a home. Troopers attempted livesaving efforts, but were unable to revive Stonecipher.

Klawock is a close-knit village of roughly 720 residents located about 90 miles from Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island.

A statement posted on social media by the City of Klawock accounts confirmed the loss of Chief Stonecipher.

“It is with a heavy heart we share that City of Klawock Chief Terry Stonecipher passed unexpectedly early this morning. 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.” the post read. “We hold his wife and children in our prayers during this difficult time”

At 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, Alaska State Troopers from the post in Craig, Klawock Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services paid tribute to Chief Stonecipher as his remains began the journey to the State Medical Examiners Office in Anchorage. Public safety vehicles lined the streets with lights flashing as their crews saluted the ambulance escorting Chief Stonecipher’s remains to the Inter-Island Ferry Terminal in Hollis.

A post on city social media pages thanked Chief Stonecipher for his dedication to Klawock.

“We honor you Chief Stonecipher for your many years of service to our community,” a post from Monday said. “You truly cared about our community and the outpouring of love and support demonstrates how appreciated you were.”

As police services in Klawock are now reduced, residents are encouraged to call 911 for emergencies rather than the Klawock Police Department. Alaska State Troopers will be assisting the city by answering incoming 911 calls, and patrols will be conducted by members of the Craig Police Department when schedules allow.