Forest City’s police chief was found dead in his home Friday in what investigators now say was an accident. Chief Doug Book was 58 and had served as the northern Iowa town’s top cop for more than 30 years. Dan Davis is now Forest City’s acting police chief and says the medical examiner’s report and the investigation found Chief Book died of head trauma after an accidental fall down a stairway.
Forest City Mayor George Wilson says Book’s long career has made a lasting impact on the city and the region. Wilson calls Book “a vital part of our community” who will be remembered for his service. Book had been police chief since 1974 after joining the force in 1968. Davis says he and Book joined the force about the same time.
When Book went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, something rare in the early 1970s, Davis filled in for him at work. Davis says Book was very dedicated to his job. He had enough years to have retired but his “first love was the police department, his family was the police department.”
Davis says Book was the youngest police chief in the state when he took that position at age 28. Davis says Book was likely the longest-serving chief in Iowa under one jurisdiction. Visitation is Thursday with the funeral Friday in Forest City.