BILLINGS - Long time Billings Police Chief Gene Kiser passed away at his Billings home last week at the age of 84.
Kiser joined the Billings Police Department in 1961, and was appointed chief in 1977.
Kiser's 13-year tenure as chief was only recently surpassed by current Police Chief Rich St. John, who has headed the department for the past 14 years.
St. John, who was hired by Kiser in 1981, credits Kiser for leading the department through the difficult days following the shooting death of Billings police Det. Alex Mavity in 1989.
"His leadership through that tragedy was outstanding," said St. John. "He was able to get the department moving in the right direction again, pulling everyone together."
Following Kiser's retirement in 1990, he moved to Helena where he was later appointed director of the Board of Crime Control.
A memorial service for Kiser has been scheduled for June 19, 2021 at the First Baptist Church in Billings.