The Chatham-Kent community is mourning the loss of its first police chief.

John Kopinak died Tuesday, after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was a graduate of the FBI Academy in Quantico.

His career began in 1968 with the Port Colborne Police. 

After retiring from the government sector, Kopinak became the deputy police chief for CP Rail.

In 1998, he was recruited for the Chatham-Kent Police chief position.

He retired after serving as chief for five years.

Current Chatham-Kent Police Chief Gary Conn called Kopinak "the architect of the Chatham-Kent Police Service."

Funeral and visitation information can be found at