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Former Lakewood Police chief Ron Burns dies at 71

The 35-year law enforcement veteran served as the head of the Lakewood Police Department for six years.
Credit: Lakewood Police Department
Former Lakewood Police chief Ron Burns

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The Lakewood Police Department (LPD) is mourning the loss of former chief Ron Burns, who died of cancer at age 71 in Arizona.

According to a release from LPD, Burns began his 35-year law enforcement career in Tempe, Arizona and rose through the ranks before becoming the chief of the Kirkland Police Department in Washington. 

Two years later, the release said, Burns returned to the Tempe Police Department to serve as its chief. He later served as executive director of the Arizona 100 club, a nonprofit organization that supports the families of officers who are seriously wounded or killed in the line of duty.

After that, according to the release, Burns accepted the position of chief of the Lakewood Police Department in 2001 and served in that capacity for six years.

The release said Burns "reinforced the high standards of the Lakewood Police Department's mission 'to serve and protect with integrity, intelligence and initiative,' always leading by example.

"His forward thinking and willingness to listen to the community quickly earned Chief Burns the loyalty, respect and admiration of those who worked with him," the release said.

"Chief Burns' legacy will include an uncompromising pledge to the highest standards of integrity, professionalism, outstanding leadership, and an unfailing loyalty and commitment to serving the citizens of Lakewood," the release said. "He will be remembered as a charismatic and humble man, who left every organization he was part of better than he found it."

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"Thank you for your service Chief," the release said. "We have the watch from here."