Hundreds attend funeral for Pooler's police chief

By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Pooler's police chief, Clarence "Butch" Chan, will be remembered for his integrity, his friendship and his sense of humor.

Chief Chan passed away earlier this month while on a cruise with his wife. Today hundreds gathered at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist for his funeral.

Today Chief Chan's officers stood by him as they have for the past 24 years, this time carrying his casket into the church.

Police officers from all over the region gathered to honor Pooler's beloved chief, including Garden City Police Chief David Lyons "We've lost a true professional, a friend to all of us," Lyons said. "I've lost a personal friend and colleague."

Retired Savannah Chatham Metro Police lieutenant Jimmy Stevens was a close friend and served with him on the CrimeStoppers board of directors.

"First and foremost Butch was a good friend," said Stevens. "I've known him since I was a little fella, so we go back aways. Butch was a fantastic man, a policeman's policeman and a great person to everyone he came in contact with."

The cathedral was packed with people Chan has touched over the years. He got his start in police work working for the Chatham County Police Department, he was once a member of the motorcycle squad, then head of the detectives. Many of the officers who came today had the pleasure of working for Chief Chan.

Retired SCMPD Captain and homicide investigator Bob Merriman said Chan gave him his start in detective work. Most recently, they were golfing buddies. "I would never miss this for the family and the world," Merriman said. "What can I say, Butch Chan, Chief Chan, meant everything to me."

He meant everything to Pooler's deputy police chief Mark Revenew. The honor guard presented Revenew with the American flag from Chan's casket. Revenew then presented that flag to Chan's wife Laura.

Chan and Laura were married for 40 years, They have two sons and five grandchildren. The grandchildren were the apple of his eye. Many hope the turnout today shows them what a great man Chan was.

Attorney Steven Scheer knew Chan for 30 years. "I think I'd ask him for advice more than he's ask me. He was a wonderful person and a good friend"

Chan also meant a lot to the City of Pooler.

State Representative Buddy Carter was the former mayor of Pooler. "What a lot of people don't remember is when he took over as chief of our police force, it was a crucial time, a time when the department had lost integrity and lost the confidence in the community. He stepped in and restored that integrity and restored that confidence in our community with our police force."

And someday someone will take over as Pooler's next chief, but no one will ever take his place.

Chief Clarence "Butch" Chan was 65 years old.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.