published Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Chattanooga police captain dies

Capt. Jeff Francis talks with his 3-year-old grandson, Tobin Francis, at the Chattanooga Police Department's annual awards ceremony.  Francis was awarded "Manager of the Year" at the ceremony.
Capt. Jeff Francis talks with his 3-year-old grandson, Tobin Francis, at the Chattanooga Police Department's annual awards ceremony. Francis was awarded "Manager of the Year" at the ceremony.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

A 28-year veteran of the Chattanooga Police Department died suddenly Wednesday night while off duty.

Capt. Jeffrey Lee Francis, 54, worked in many assignments during his tenure at the department. He was a member of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and president of the Tennessee Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.

“Capt. Jeff Francis will be sorely missed by the law enforcement community. Please keep the Francis family in your prayers,” police Chief Bobby Dodd wrote in the post.

On his last day of work Wednesday at the department, Francis appeared in court on a pound-of-marijuana arrest he made.

Francis received his BRE in Missions from Tennessee Temple University and his master’s in Outdoor Education from Southern Adventist University. He has served as dean of men at Tennessee Temple University and as an adjunct professor at both Tennessee Temple and Southern Adventist University. He served as chief of security at Tennessee Temple Schools for more than 15 years.

Francis was also vice president and chaplain of the Hamilton County Rescue Services and has served with law enforcement in many capacities including lieutenant of scuba team, homicide investigator/detective, undercover officer, property crimes investigator, DUI Traffic Division investigator and instructor of training.

Francis also helped establish the Gang Investigation Unit and served as its lieutenant. He also worked as a special operation/projects captain and oversaw patrol.

He developed and secured funds for the department’s BADGE program for at-risk youth in Chattanooga.

Jeff was awarded “Officer of the Year” for the CPD in 1989 and “Manager of the Year” for CPD in 2012 and the Family and Children’s Services awarded his family “Family of the Year” in 2001.

The family will receive friends Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 East Brainerd Road. The funeral will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Highland Park Baptist Church, 1907 Bailey Ave.

Francis will be buried at Hamilton Memorial Gardens on Highway 153.

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