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Siloam Springs deputy police chief retires, looks back on career

by Marc Hayot | October 14, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
Marc Hayot/Herald-Leader Retired Deputy Chief Major Geoff Lewis (right), poses with his granddaughter Briar Florez at Lewis' retirement party on Friday at the library. Lewis served 39 years in law enforcement and 14.5 years with the Siloam Springs Police Department.

SILOAM SPRINGS -- Deputy Police Chief Geoff Lewis retired from the Siloam Springs Police Department on Friday after a career of almost 40 years in law enforcement.

Lewis said he served with the department for 14½ years beginning in June 2007. Lewis did not talk about his childhood, but he did say that while he didn't know he would be a police officer he did want to be a part of something larger than himself.

"I think I've always had an internal calling for service," Lewis said.

He spent almost 21 years in the Marine Corps, Lewis said. Starting out as a military policeman in 1982, Lewis would work his way up to other positions including special reaction team leader; accident investigation chief; operations chief; and criminal investigation division chief, he said.

Lewis also served as a military special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and was chief instructor of the physical evidence branch of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation School.

After Lewis left the service, he would go on to serve as a civilian contractor with the Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program from 2004-2005, he said. A year later, Lewis was writing and training on lessons learned in Iraq for the U.S. Innovative Emergency Management, he said.

In June 2007, Lewis was hired as the captain for the Siloam Springs Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division, he said. Six months later, he was promoted to deputy chief.

The biggest accomplishment Lewis felt he made was watching young officers grow and develop into senior officers, he said.

Lewis said the Siloam Springs Police Department is the only department accredited with the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police. The department was initially accredited in 2017 and was reaccredited in 2021, Lewis said.

"It's a good department across the board," Lewis said. "It's really been an honor and a privilege to work with the city."

Lewis called City Administrator Phillip Patterson an awesome guy and said because of a supportive city administrator and board the police department has not experienced a lot of the issues that other departments in larger cities have experienced.

Now retired, Lewis is looking forward to spending some time with family and do some leisurely travel for the first part of his retirement and then see what comes next, he said.

As a final thought, Lewis said he hopes the three-eighths-percent sales tax becomes permanent so the police department can continue to grow and develop.

Lewis thanked the department and fellow officers for the support and dedication they give to the citizens of Siloam Springs every day.

"This is a great department, and it has been an honor and a privilege to serve," Lewis said.

Marc Hayot/Herald-Leader Police Chief Allan Gilbert presents retired Deputy Chief Geoff Lewis with his service weapon at Lewis' retirement party on Friday at the library. Lewis served 14.5 years with the Siloam Springs Police Department and 39 years in law enforcement total.
Marc Hayot/Herald-Leader Police Chief Allan Gilbert presents retired Deputy Chief Geoff Lewis with his service weapon at Lewis' retirement party on Friday at the library. Lewis served 14.5 years with the Siloam Springs Police Department and 39 years in law enforcement total.

Print Headline: Retiring deputy chief says it was an honor to serve

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