The Jackson area community, along with the local law enforcement community, was stunned and saddened by the unexpected death of retired Jackson Police Department (JPD) officer Thomas “Butch” Aldrich on Monday morning, May 23.

Aldrich, a Jackson native, lifelong resident and a 1971 graduate of Jackson High School, spent most of his professional career at JPD, serving from 1981 until his retirement in 2014. He held the rank of sergeant for most of those years and served as a school resource officer at Jackson High School.

Aldrich was an active member of the Jackson County Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and even after his retirement he remained active in such community projects as the Jackson County Trout Festival and Shop With A Cop. Following his retirement, he served as a bailiff at the Jackson County Juvenile Court and also was elected in 2017 to a 2-year term as an at-large city councilman. He was also a longtime member of the former Jackson Jaycees and the current JAFE organization and for many years was an active member of the Apple Festival Committee.

During Monday evening’s meeting of Jackson City Council, Councilwoman Marva Colby read a statement covering Aldrich’s long service to the city and officially expressing the city’s condolences to his family. During his report, Mayor Randy Evans also acknowledged Aldrich’s service and contributions to the police department, the school district, and the community.

A celebration of Butch's life will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 31 at the Mayhew-Brown Funeral Home in Jackson with Pastor Janie Karl officiating.  The family will receive friends three hours prior to the service from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.  For a full obituary, see page A2 of today’s edition and The Telegram’s website at www.thetelegramnews.com.

        Statement From JPD Chief Brett Hinsch

JPD Police Chief Brett Hinsch issued the following statement in response to the death of former JPD officer Butch Aldrich:

“The Jackson Police Department was saddened to hear of the passing of retired Sergeant Thomas “Butch” Aldrich.  Sgt. Aldrich was a valued member of the department for over 33 years.  He served as a mentor to many officers still working today.  Sgt. Aldrich was still to his last day dedicated in many community functions associated with the police department and the loss creates a void that simply cannot be easily replaced.

“In addition to serving the citizens of Jackson for so many years as an officer of the Jackson Police Department, Butch spearheaded the Shop with a Cop campaign every year.  He organized and kept the tradition of the Trout Festival at Hammertown Lake alive.  His affiliation with the Jaycees and the Apple Festival Committee was a vital link between the City of Jackson and the Jackson County Apple Festival and through Butch, many successful festivals were recorded in the books.

“So many people, now as young adults remember Butch as an involved and ever present JPD school resource officer for Jackson City Schools.  As a Sergeant at Jackson Police Department, Butch was responsible for the implementation of the School Resource Officer program still in effect today. 

“Sergeant Aldrich survived a lengthy career in law enforcement and gave his all to the community.  Post-retirement, he served as an officer of the Jackson County Juvenile Court. He also served a term as a councilman of the City of Jackson.  We want to convey our deepest respect to a man that positively changed so many lives over the course of his career and was so positive with his mission to make Jackson a safe, great place to live.  He is the true definition of a public servant.  

“We offer our sincerest condolences to his wife, Sherry, and his daughter, Jennifer, and a very extended family, which Butch loved so very much.  JPD will always be here should they need us as a deep commitment to honor our fallen brother.”