Former Ludowici Police Department Chief Frank McClelland Sr., 82, died at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Health University Medical Center. He had been taken to the Savannah hospital after he complained of chest pains.
McClelland served as chief of the Ludowici Police Department from 2000-2007. Before that, he worked as a deputy for the Long County Sheriff’s Office and as an agent with the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Tax Unit with the Department of Revenue.
McClelland retired Dec. 28, 2007 with more than 30 years of experiences as a law enforcement officer.
McClelland’s funeral was Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Ludowici, and he was laid to rest in the Jones Creek Cemetery. Mourners from all over the area came out to pay their respects to the former police chief. Many spoke fondly of their friend and former colleague.
“He was a good police chief and a good friend. He was stern but fair, and when he told you something, you knew he meant it … We worked well together and I’ll miss him,” Ludowici Mayor Myrtice Warren said.
Ludowici resident Kent Hall attended church with McClelland. He remembered the late chief for his generosity.
“I knew Mr. Frank all of my life,” Hall said. “We went to church together a few years back, and he even donated the land where Calvary Baptist Church is built. He was a good man, and all I have to say about him is good things.”
One of the first people McClelland hired after he became chief of the LPD was Richard Robertson, current LPD chief. Robertson, who was both an investigator and the assistant chief under McClelland, learned a lot from his former supervisor.
“He was a mentor to me. He was old-school law enforcement but with an eye towards the future,” Robertson said. “He worked hard to make the Ludowici Police Department one of the best small departments in the Southeast, and I believe he accomplished that … I will miss him deeply.”