Spirit of police chief Gregg lives on in Georgetown

GEORGETOWN — Family, friends and law enforcement colleagues gathered Thursday morning to salute and remember the late Harvey A. Gregg Jr., Georgetown’s beloved police chief who passed away 21 years ago.

A cherished police officer to many who served the Georgetown community for 30 years, Chief Gregg died in the line of duty on April 4, 1998 — two days after suffering a heart attack while directing traffic for a funeral procession. He was 70 years old.

Georgetown Police Chief R.L. Hughes and Georgetown Mayor Bill West spoke at the wreath ceremony at the marker on The Circle honoring Chief Gregg.

“It doesn’t feel like 21 years ago. And that’s because the chief lives in our hearts and lives in our minds,” said Chief Hughes.

“Harvey took me underneath his wing,” said Mayor West, referring to his career in law enforcement. “He is responsible for a lot of my positions. When I first started in 1978, I was scared to death. But he molded me. He told what to do and how to do it. We’ll never forget.”

Chief Gregg’s daughters – Connie Ponce, Julie McCabe and Michele Handy – attended the ceremony. They shared remembrances that included their father’s deep love for Georgetown, and how the family “would go on vacation and he’d enjoy vacation … but the biggest smile came on his face when he was headed back.”

“The legacy in police work for law enforcement in Delaware, and especially here in Sussex County, it goes on,” said Chief Hughes. “Not only did Billy (West) work with Harvey, Billy was my first field training officer when I went on with the state police. That legacy continues.”

“Thinking about Harvey, a lot of things come to mind for me as being a chief here in my hometown. It’s not easy some days,” said Chief Hughes. “So, for him to have done that for that long … and the dedication to the community are a couple things that came to mind. I think Harvey was the epitome of knowing what was right for his community in serving the people of Georgetown.”

Chief Gregg’s spirit lives on with the police department’s mission, Chief Hughes said

“We are guardians of Georgetown. I believe that in my soul,” Chief Hughes said. “It is the right thing to do and we’re going to keep doing it.”

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