Story last updated at 3:26 p.m. Thursday, September 12, 2002

Former police chief dies
by Chris Bernard
Staff Writer

Former Homer Police Chief Michael Daugherty died Saturday following a long illness. He was 57 years old.

He served as chief for 22 of his 23 years with the Homer Police Department, longer than any police chief in Alaska at the time, and retired in 1995. During his tenure, he was named head of the Alaska Police Chiefs Association and served as vice president, treasurer and member of the PCA's board of directors.

But those who knew and worked with him said it was the impact his presence had on the Homer Police Department that will be remembered.

When Daugherty was hired in 1972, Homer's police force was only three members strong and based out of a two-room building across from the Homer Family Theater.

Under Daugherty's leadership, the department grew to 12 officers, each of whom received training through the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

"He grew that department right on up to what it is today," said John Kosch, a friend of Daugherty's who served on the Homer City Council while Daugherty was chief. "He did his job and did it real well."

"That's true," agreed Harry Gregoire, who was mayor for a time during Daugherty's term. "He was good as chief. He got along good, and he did his job well."

Kosch said what he most remembers about Daugherty is his loyalty.

"He was a real loyal type, loyal to friends and loyal to family, and he took care of them all," he said. "That's one of the main things that always stuck out in my mind about him.

"We moved here at about the same time, within three weeks of each other, and we met at the Homer Spit Campground," Kosch said. "The friendship lasted 30 years, and never subsided. It's a big, big loss."

Born in 1945 in Orville, Calif., Daugherty attended high school in Arcata, Calif., and graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

He worked in real estate in California before moving to Homer in 1972. Daugherty also ran Chief's Charters, a local charter-fishing business, and for many years coached Homer Little League teams.

Daugherty is survived by his wife, Robin; his daughter, Gina, her husband, Scot Walters, and their daughter Dakayla; brothers Paul, Joe, Ray and Dwayne; sisters Christine, Rita and Oneida; and several in-laws in Homer, Petersburg and Washington state. He was preceded in death by a son, Kevin.

Memorials may be made to the family at P.O. Box 1298. Proceeds will be used to support Homer Little League.

Chris Bernard can be reached at cbernard@homernews.com.

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