Chattanooga Police Capt. Jeff Francis died on Wednesday night.
Capt. Francis suffered from heart problems and had a heart attack, according to the website of the Church of the Highlands, where he was an active member. The church was formerly Highland Park Baptist Church.
Capt. Francis had served with the Chattanooga Police Department for the past 28 years and was currently serving as captain over patrol. He was vice president and chaplain of the Hamilton County Rescue Services and had served with law enforcement in many capacities including lieutenant of the Scuba Team, president of the Tennessee Chapter of the FBINAA, homicide investigator/detective, undercover officer, property crimes investigator, DUI Traffic Division investigato and instructor of training.
He established and served as lieutenant of the Gang Investigation Unit and was Special Operation/Projects captain. He developed and was awarded funds for CPD's B.A.D.G.E. Program for at risk youth in Chattanooga.
He was awarded “Officer of the Year” for the CPD in 1989 and “Manager of the Year” for CPD in 2012. Family and Childrens Services awarded his family “Family of the Year” in 2001.
Capt. Francis and his family hosted many international students, having instructed them in caving, outdoor sports, high-angle rescue and rope work and water sports.
He served as a capable instructor for both police officers and local paramedics and was EMT- Tennessee certified.
He was a member of Highland Park Baptist Church for the past 38 years where he served on the board of deacons and was director of Camp Joy for two years.
A celebration of Jeff's life will be held on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Highland Park Baptist Church with Dr. David Bouler and Dr. Jeremy Roberts officiating.
The body will lie in state from 1–2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the church. Burial will follow at Hamilton Memorial Gardens.
The family will receive friends on Friday from 4-8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.