Fox17 is reporting that longtime Grand Rapids police chief William Hegarty has died. He was 81 years old.

William "Bill" Hegarty served as Chief of Police for GRPD from 1981-1998.

Current GRPD Chief Eric Payne said, “I served our department under Chief Hegarty for a number of years, mostly during my formative years in the department, and I can say this about him: he cared deeply about his police department and about his community. Both were always in his heart and showed in his work. Our hearts in the entire department and community are heavy today.”

His family was by his side when he passed away, 3:30 a.m., Saturday morning.

Sytsema Funeral Home in Norton Shores is handling funeral arrangements.

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