Havasu’s first police officer dies


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The below story published in Today’s News-Herald today, January 12, 2018, reprinted with permission.

Author: Brandon Messick

Lake Havasu City’s first police officer has died.

John Alexander was hired by the newly-incorporated Lake Havasu City in 1979 and ended his career as Havasu’s Chief of Police in 2006. Alexander’s death was announced through social media on January 9 by his wife, Kimberly Alexander.

When former Lake Havasu City Police Lt. Joe Archie first met Alexandar in 1993, Alexander had already become Police Chief.

“He contributed a lot to the department”, Archie said. “He was involved from the start and oversaw the building project during a large growth-spurt in Havasu. The department’s numbers double during his time.  He always hoped that when he retired, they’d promote someone from within the department to take his place, and that’s what he did.”

Since Lake Havasu City was founded in 1963, the city relied on the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement. That changed 15 years later with the creation of the Lake Havasu City Police Department in July 1979.  Alexander, a former deputy, was the first officer hired to protect and serve the people of Havasu.

Alexander had a dry sense of humor but earned the respect of fellow officers – even ones who didn’t know him.

“He was stopped once by a new officer,” Archive said, “The officer took his license and registration and read it to dispatch.  Dispatchers recognized the name and told the officer, ‘You realize that’s Adam-One, don’t you?’ He had no idea.  He went back, returned (Alexander’s) license and registration to him, and told him to have a nice day.”

Mohave County Sheriff Doug Shuster attended school with Alexander’s son, and Alexander was Chief of Police when Schuster first began his career in law enforcement.

“He was a great man,” Schuster said.  “He was a very common-sense no-nonsense type of man, but he was always willing to listen and offer guidance.  He was very approachable and very sincere.  He was a natural born leader, and he gained the respect of others based on how he carried himself.”

Alexander was removed as Police Chief in 2006, following complains that he allegedly violated personnel policies within the department, and failed to adequately pursue internal investigations.  Havasu Police Chief Dan Doyle was promoted to replace Alexander in 2006 but remembers Alexander well.

“He was a very gracious individual who cared about those around him,” Doyle said, “I worked for him for many years and he always treated me with kindness and encouragement.  He will be certainly missed by those who knew him.”

Alexander’s wife announced her husband’s death on Facebook. “He was one of the good guys,” Kimberly Alexander said, “A wise, fair, honorable man who served his community for 27 years, starting in 1979 as Havasu first Police Officer.  Rest peacefully, Chief John Alexander.”

Kimberly Alexander could not be reached for comment as of Thursday evening.

The above story published in Today’s News-Herald today, January 12, 2018, reprinted with permission.