PROVIDENCE — The Executive Board and member chiefs of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association wish to honor the life and service of retired North Attleboro Police Chief John D. “Jack” Coyle, Jr. and offer their condolences following his passing last week.
Coyle passed away on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the age of 91. He served as the North Attleboro, Massachusetts police chief for 28 years, retiring in 1999.
“Chief Coyle was a leader in our profession and a mentor to many, and he will have a lasting impact on police agencies and organizations in New England and beyond,” RIPCA Executive Director Sid Wordell said. “On behalf of Rhode Island’s police chiefs, I offer my condolences to his family and friends, as well as his many colleagues throughout the years.”
Coyle began his policing career in 1954. He was appointed Deputy Sheriff for the Bristol County Drug Enforcement Unit in 1966 before being appointed Chief in North Attleboro in 1970.
He was a lifetime member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He served as president of Southeastern Massachusetts Chiefs Association in 1975, president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association in 1981, and president of the New England Association of Chiefs of Police in 1981.
He then served as the executive director of the New England Association of Chiefs of Police for 38 years, retiring from the position in 2020. In recognition of his longtime, exemplary service to the association and the law enforcement profession, he remained with NEACOP as executive director emeritus until 2022.
“I am truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to have gotten to know Chief Jack Coyle as a member of the New England Police Chiefs Association while he was the Executive Director,” said Lincoln Police Chief Brian Sullivan. “Chief Coyle was passionate about the policing profession, and was always willing to share his knowledge with others. More importantly, Chief Coyle was a very good friend and he will be missed.”
“Chief Coyle is a legend in policing and will be greatly missed,” said RIPCA President and Narragansett Police Chief Sean Corrigan. “My favorite quote of his was, ‘If you go after the small stuff, it keeps the big stuff away.'”
Coyle was known for his professionalism and high expectations of his officers, and had well-established relationships with many in the law enforcement community.
“Chief Coyle was a great man, a devoted Christian and 100% determined to achieve ultimate professionalism in law enforcement. He would accept no less of himself and of anyone who held a badge. He always led by example and took his responsibilities seriously,” said Jamie Hainsworth, current Jamestown Town Administrator and former Glocester police chief. “He was the ultimate networker, and made it his mission to organize law enforcement throughout all six New England states to share information, training and ideas. As I traveled around the country with him, I saw firsthand how his networking exceeded New England. He was known and respected by so many Chiefs of Police throughout the country.”