Kingston Police mourns death of retired chief Bill Hackett

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Bill Hackett, former Kingston chief of police, died at the age of 90 – Jan 30, 2021

On Friday, Kingston Police chief Antje McNeely paid tribute to former chief Bill Hackett, who died at 90 years old.

According to McNeely, Hackett started with Kingston Police in 1951 and spent six decades with the local force.

“Bill distinguished himself as a tenacious investigator and a courageous officer willing to risk his life in an effort to protect the public from dangerous individuals,” McNeely said.

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During his time as an officer, Hackett apparently took on several complex investigations, and was the lead investigator following the riot at the Kingston Penitentiary, a major incident that involved serious charges against 13 individuals, McNeely said.

He retired with 44 years of service, the longest term ever recorded by an officer with the Kingston Police.

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During his time with local police, he held several key positions, including deputy chief and chief in the mid 1990s.

Hackett retired from policing in 1995, but did not stop serving his community, spending 16 years on the police services board until 2019.

He was also an extremely active member of the local community.

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Hackett was highly involved in hockey, and first helped build the Harold Harvey Arena in 1950. He spent three decades with the Church Athletic League, and played on the Kingston Police hockey team 15 years. He also fundraised for the Minor Hockey Association, as well as serving as the director of the Kingston Skating Club.

He was nominated for the 2006 Citizen of the Year Award for his work with numerous charities and organizations, among them the Kids for Kids hockey tournament, the Penitentiary Museum and the Boys and Girls Club.

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He was also involved in numerous boards in the city and was on the organizing committee of the Ontario Special Olympics 2012 Provincial Spring Games, when they were hosted in Kingston.

McNeely called Hackett and “example for all of us to follow.”

“Bill once commented that the best advice he could give from his many years of police experience was to treat people the way that you would like to be treated, noting that he was still being stopped on the street by people whom he had helped years ago in some case or another,” McNeely said.

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