City of Florence notifies community of the passing of Chief Tom Turner

Retired Florence Police Chief, Lane County Sheriff passes away

May 13, 2022 — It is with great sadness that the City of Florence informs the community of the passing of Florence Police Chief Tom Turner on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at his home, where he was surrounded by his family.

Chief Turner served the Florence community as chief for the past seven years, beginning in 2015, and as the Lane County Sheriff from 2011 to 2015. He retired with over 40 years of public safety service to communities in Lane County.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Collin and their family,” the city said in the formal announcement. “We are thankful for the outpouring of support that our city has received since the announcement of Chief Turner’s pending retirement earlier this week. We are in contact with his family and will make sure we pass on the kind words and condolences.”

In her notice to staff, City Manager Erin Reynolds stated, “It was wonderful to see the outpouring of support for Chief Turner and his family following the announcement of his retirement. Seeing all of the kind messages from city staff and from members of the community confirmed what we all always knew, which was that Tom was a truly wonderful person. We were all incredibly lucky to have him as a part of our lives for the last seven years.”

The City of Florence would like to extend a special thank you to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, who will take the lead on ceremonial arrangements to recognize Chief Turner’s career and commitment to public service. The City of Florence is grateful for their support in these efforts to allow the police department and city staff to grieve.

More information on services and recognition will be shared by the Sheriff’s Office and the city as it is developed.

Earlier this week, Reynolds announced that Commander John Pitcher was appointed as Interim Chief of Police for the City of Florence. The City will take time to evaluate the needs of the Police Department before making a decision about the future of the Department’s leadership. The City would like to extend a special thanks to Commander Pitcher for his leadership during this time.

More information will be forthcoming in the next 30 days.