Courtesy SSC Police Department
Courtesy SSC Police Department

South Sioux City Police Chief Ed Mahon, Lt. Doug Adams, and former Capt. John Sanders all consistently described former police chief Scot Ford who died Nov. 24 at his home in Tucson, Arizona.

Honest. Fair. Tough. Hater of... baseball caps?

“He just did not like when officers would wear baseball caps,” laughed Mahon. “That was his thing.”

Outside of his aversion to athletic headwear, Ford is remembered fondly by his former fellow officers.

“He was a good guy. A good boss,” said Mahon. “He's probably one of the major reasons we are the way we are today.”

Mahon, Adams and Sanders all credited Ford with pushing the department into the 21st century.

“We had some equipment other agencies didn't,” Adams said, citing in particular thermal cameras used to apprehend suspects hidden in the dark. “He gave us what we needed to do our jobs better.”

Sanders remembers Ford's first day at the job, noting that while he didn't know at the time he was training an officer who would be someday become the department's longest-serving chief at 26 years, he knew Ford was a good guy. The two worked together for about 15 years.

“When I retired, he invited me not to be a stranger,” said Sanders, who was recently re-elected to the city council. “I appreciated the fact that he was good to me.”

Mahon, who worked with Ford for 35 years, also credited him with updating the department's policy manual and doubling the size of the force.

“The better question is, 'What did he not impact?'” he said.

Fond memories of Ford abound, including a baritone singing voice (he was part of a quartet) and interesting eating habits.

“Back in the day, we'd take our breaks together in the middle of the night at the Crystal Cafe,” said Adams. “He would order a full breakfast and a bowl of chili. I didn't see how that went together, but that's Scot.”

Mahon said that he believed Ford had a hand in how he rose through the ranks of the South Sioux City Police Department.

“I know I had his back and he had mine.”