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Former Rugby chief of police dies

By Staff | Oct 13, 2012

Last week Boyd Eagleson, who served a long tenure as a chief of police in Rugby, died in a Bismarck hospital. His funeral takes place at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon at First Lutheran Church in Rugby.

Although he and his wife, Marcia, moved to Mandan before his death, his service to the Rugby community, and other places, hasn’t been forgotten.

“We’re going to miss him,” Mayor Dave Cichos said. “We wish his family well.”

“He was always steadfast for the community of Rugby,” said former Rugby mayor Dale Niewoehner. “Boyd took care of people on the humanistic side. He watched out for the city and the people.

Eagleson, a Milton native, was on the police force in late 1984, named by Al Wentz (mayor at the time). On January 1, 1985 he assumed police chief duties from Charles Hilyard. Eagleson retired from his post in late October of 2005. He was succeeded by Bob Walls, Luis Coca and John Rose, respectively.

Prior to moving to Rugby, Eagleson served as a part-time deputy sheriff in Cavalier County. He was also a North Dakota highway patrolman stationed in Towner from 1966-1976.

During his tenure as chief of police, and it is still true to this day, there were several changes in law enforcement, including new police vehicles, equipment and technologies.

He was also involved in only one shooting during his time as a police officer. In the ’70s, he attempted to make a routine traffic stop. He followed the driver of the other vehicle after it turned off of Highway 2 west of Towner. The other vehicle turned around, and Eagleson heard a shot. Fortunately, the bullet didn’t hit him. The other vehicle was eventually stopped.

In the October 29th, 2005 issue of the Pierce County Tribune, Eagleson said that a patrolman in Towner by the name of Duane Knoepfle inspired him to take the law enforcement exam and become a police officer.

Besides being a chief of police, he was also a scout leader, and in Milton he was a member of the school board. He was also in the Army National Guard.

In the October 29, 2005 issue of the Pierce County Tribune, it was also noted that several of Eagleson’s kids pursued careers in law enforcement and emergency response. At the time, his eldest son, Chad, was a sergeant in the Minot Police Department. Sean, another son, served as a police officer in Devils Lake, and as a deputy sheriff in McHenry County. Andrea, a daughter, was a 911 emergency dispatcher in Minot.

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