Leesburg’s longest serving police chief, James M. Kidwell, died Monday.
Kidwell, 77, served with the town Police Department for 34 years and was chief for 27 years.
As a 20-year-old, he joined the four-man department in 1961. At that time, the agency had one patrol car and no radio system.
He was named chief in 1971.
Upon his retirement in 1995, Kidwell was recognized for transforming the department into a modern police agency with 35 staff members and capable of handling increasingly complex challenges that followed the town’s growth. He also was recognized for keeping a small-town approach to law enforcement, which included his near daily foot patrols downtown.
Visitation will be held 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 22 at Loudoun Funeral Chapel. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday, June 23 at the funeral home, followed by a graveside service at Union cemetery.