This update on Thursday from the Adairsville Police Department:
“It is with great sadness that we are writing to advise that Rick Townsend, Chief of the Adairsville Police Department, passed away this morning at 1:25. Chief Townsend fought a great fight, but succumbed to his battle with cancer early this morning. He was a great man, a leader and a friend. He will be missed. Please keep his family in your prayers. Information regarding his services will be forthcoming.” –The note was sent by Police Capt. Louis Dean.
Rick Townsend, age 63, of Waleska, passed away on Thursday, December 7 at his residence. The family will receive friends at Lake Arrowhead Church on Monday, December 11, from 10:15 until 10:45 a.m. The funeral will be held on Monday, December 11, at 11:00a.m. at Lake Arrowhead Church with Rev. Lee Powell officiating. Interment will follow at Lafayette City Cemetery.
Mr. Townsend began his 42-year career in law enforcement with the FBI. He also served as the Chief of Police for the Auburn Police Department, an investigator with the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Marietta Police Department and was currently serving as the Chief of Police with the Adairsville Police Department.
He was the president of LEEDS for eight years. He was also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Georgia Command College. Mr. Townsend loved the law. Most of all, he loved his family, especially his wife and kids.
He is survived by: Wife – Susan Townsend of Waleska; son – Joseph (Kelley) Townsend of Kennesaw; daughter – Sarah (Seth) Meador of Atlanta; and mother – Mary Ruth Morris Townsend of Chickamauga.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to the In Touch Ministries in his name.
Darby Funeral Home.
Townsend was named chief in April 2016 after city officials reviewed 56 applicants for the post. According to a biography provided at the time by radio station WBHF 100.3 FM and AM 1450:
“Townsend has over 41 years of law enforcement experience with 25 years in law enforcement management. He served as chief of police at a 25-person agency and as a commander of a 140-person agency in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Townsend served as president of the FBI National Academy Associates Georgia Chapter, having graduated from the National Academy in 1989.
“In 2008, Townsend was selected by the FBI to serve as the director of the FBI Georgia Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar. The week-long executive management program is held yearly at the FBI Atlanta Field Office. Townsend worked with the GBI, Georgia State Patrol, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI to develop the program. To date, hundreds of law enforcement executives have completed the program.
“Townsend was nominated by GBI Director Vernon Keenan for his continued contribution to the law enforcement profession and in 2013 received the Governor’s Public Safety Award.
“Townsend has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Public Administration from Columbus State University.”