Mark Taylor
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Gardner city council members honored the late Police Chief Kenny Francis for his 25 years of service to the community on Oct. 15.
Francis passed away last month at the age of 66.
“He loved this community,” Patty Francis, Kenny Francis’s widow, told the council.
Francis spent more than four decades in law enforcement, and more than 25 of those in Gardner.
“Thank you for sharing him for 25 years,” Capt. Jim Moore told Patty Francis.
The recognition concluded with a standing ovation in the Chief’s memory.
The council passed a resolution last month stating “as a further mark of respect, the row of flags on Main Street will be flown for 25 days, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 to honor the Chief’s 25 years of service to the city of Gardner and hereafter the 14th day of September shall be honored as Kenneth A. Francis Memorial Day in the city of Gardner.”
Francis was well respected by law enforcement peers ranging from municipal police departments to the FBI.
He was regarded as an authority on the public safety model of law enforcement, combining police and fire services.
He served on several law enforcement boards and committees over the course of his career.
Francis was past president of the Johnson County Police Chiefs, past president of the FBI National Academy Associates, past president of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and past president of the Metropolitan Police Chiefs and Sheriff’s Associations.
Francis received the prestigious Clarence M. Kelly Award in 2002. That award is presented to criminal justice executives in the Kansas City metro area who demonstrate a proactive  approach and dedication to improving the criminal justice system.