Oldest retired Grand Rapids police member dies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Retired Grand Rapids police Capt. Clifford “Cliff” Carlon died Friday morning at age 99.

Carlon was the oldest living person to have served the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The department says he died with his family close to his side. He had a multitude of critical health issues, all unrelated to coronavirus.

Carlon served the department for 35 years and retired in 1981. He served during World War II and attended Michigan State University.

“I think something should be said about how proud he was to be a member of the Grand Rapids Police Department and having been able to serve with his two brothers-in-law, Bill and Stan VanTuinen,” said Carlon’s daughter Dayle said in a prepared statement.

“I remember the story about the case solved by the piece of bailing twine and the story about when he ‘tested’ the water barrels on the ‘S’ curve by driving through them,” said his grandson Chris.

On Thursday, seven cruisers came to Metro Hospital in Wyoming, where Carlon was in hospice. Officers wore their dress uniforms and offered a salute to Carlon from outside.

Grand Rapids police officers salute retired Capt. Cliff Carlon from outside Metro Hospital, where Carlon is in hospice. (April 9, 2020)

“Captain Carlon, you will be sorely missed and your legacy will remain alive at the Grand Rapids Police Department. You may be gone from our sight, but never from our hearts,” GRPD said in a Facebook post.