Funeral service held for Alcoa Police Chief

Funeral service held for Alcoa Police Chief Ken Burge

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Alcoa Police Department Chief Ken Burge. Alcoa Police Department Chief Ken Burge.
Officers from across East Tennessee and the country came out to honor the life of Chief Burge. Officers from across East Tennessee and the country came out to honor the life of Chief Burge.
"How much I appreciated his friendship, his mentoring, his guidance, and support for 30 years," Deputy Ken Morgan said "How much I appreciated his friendship, his mentoring, his guidance, and support for 30 years," Deputy Ken Morgan said

ALCOA (WATE) – Wednesday night officers from across East Tennessee and the country came out to honor the life of the Alcoa Police Chief.

Chief Kenneth Burge passed away at 62 after serving in departments all over the US.

His funeral service was held at Smith's Funeral Home.

"He loved his family, he loved to travel, and he loved to wear bright colored ties," said Deputy Ken Morgan, who traveled from Michigan. He knew the Alcoa Police Chief from way back, when the two had worked as street cops in Colorado.

"He had a great sense of humor, he had an infectious smile," Dep. Morgan said.

His sense of humor and caring spirit were common themes from many who described him.

"He'd always come up to you and talk to you about your family," said Det. Kris Sanders, with Alcoa Police Department.

"One of his attributes was that he was able to step out of himself and think about others," Dep. Morgan said.

"He was a gentleman, a perfect gentleman," said Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson.

It was obvious when you pulled into the parking lot of the funeral and saw the number of law enforcement vehicles from various department parked there, that Chief Burge's death after a long illness had touched departments far and wide.

For Alcoa Police Department, news of Burge's illness came shortly after one of their officers, James Bowman, died of natural causes.

"We were dealing with that, and it takes a while to get over. And then we're confronted with the chief and his illness. The morale was low," Det. Sanders said about the last several months.

Deputy Morgan says he was supposed to arrive in Alcoa this week, hoping to see his friend before he died.

A reunion he did not make it in time for. And a conversation he regrets he never got to have.

"How much I appreciated his friendship, his mentoring, his guidance, and support for 30 years," Dep. Morgan said, with tears in his eyes.

Burge leaves behind his wife of 45 years, two children, and a grandson.

The city manager says it'll be tough to find a replacement for him at Alcoa PD.

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