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Former Police Chief Knapp succumbs to injuries after being hit crossing a Lynden street

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FERNDALE, Wash. — Officials at Harborview Medical Center announced this afternoon that Michael Knapp, age 79, died today as a result of injuries suffered in a car vs pedestrian collision yesterday in Lynden.

The family is asking for privacy during their time of grieving. They are quoted in a press release from Harborview Medical Center, “Michael was a family man that touched many and will be sorely missed. He offered so much to his family, friends and community. Thank you for allowing us this private time to cherish his memories and life. There will be a celebration of his life at a future date.”

Knapp had served as chief of police in Ferndale from 2005 to 2016. Knapp and his wife, Nancy, remained in Ferndale after his retirement from the FPD and were frequent volunteers and participants in community events.

Knapp later served in the role of interim chief of police in Blaine and was currently doing so in Lynden.

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Mr. Knapp was born and raised in the San Francisco area and is a graduate of San Jose State University and Santa Clara University School of Law. He was appointed a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1971 and was promoted into the Senior Executive Service as the Deputy Chief, Office of Public and Congressional Affairs, FBI Headquarters, Washington, DC, from which he retired in 1997.

He was a former police officer with the Milpitas, California Police Department and a Deputy Sheriff with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Knapp was Chief of Police for the City of Medina, Washington between 1998 and 2003, and was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Ferndale, Washington in September 2005.

Mr. Knapp was a member of the California Bar Association and is a graduate of the 100th Session of the FBI National Academy and the Foreign Service Institute, United States Department of State. He served in the United States Army.

Chief Knapp served on the board of the Bellingham-Whatcom County Domestic Violence Commission, the Whatcom County Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Whatcom County Medical Examiners Advisory Council, The Northwest Regional Drug Task Force Executive Board, The Boys and Girls Club (Ferndale Branch) Advisory Board, and the Ferndale Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors. He acted as Judge Advocate for American Legion, Post 154 and chaired the Whatcom County Sheriff and Police Chiefs Association.

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  1. So Sorry, Mike was a great guy, always a gentleman and I’m glad to have counted him as a friend. I loved his visits to the store, never knew where our discussions would lead [or how long they’d last] but enjoyed every one of them. We’ve lost a giant [literally and figuratively] and my heart is very heavy right now. God bless Nancy and their family.

  2. Our condolences to Nancy and family. Chief Knapp was a generous, kind-hearted and compassionate person, and our community will miss him dearly.

  3. Mike was a huge positive influence in the law enforcement profession and to many of us he was a mentor and friend. A gentle man with a reassuring demeanor and commitment to serve with integrity. He was loved and will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers to Nancy and family.

  4. Sad to see that one of the best men that I have ever had the pleasure to meet would be gone in such a senseless manner. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy and everyone that had the pleasure of knowing this gentle giant. Thank you Michael for all that you have done for myself and others.

  5. Chief always will be in my thought and prayers for him and his family. Chief was always very nice to me as a court clerk and citizen. Sad to not say hi at Haggens anymore. So sorry for the family.

  6. Chief Knapp “lived and loved and laughed and our lives will never be the same”. (James Joyce) Each one of us in Whatcom County whom had the honor and privilege to know Chief Knapp was blessed by his gift of friendship. He had a servant’s heart, a servant’s way to all and a servant’s hands. Our deepest condolences to Nancy and the family. Gene and Yvonne Goldsmith

  7. Tony & Tina Andrews
    Met Chief Michael Knapp as he was acting Chief of Police in Blaine. We interacted with him from day one. He was such an amazing person. We had many laughs together and felt so comfortable every time he visited us.Tina and I will really miss him. We will cherish our memories of this wonderful man. Our love to Nancy and little Anthony and family.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about Chief Knapp. I used to visit him at the Medina Police Department and we’d just sit around chatting and comparing career stories. My sincerest condolences go out to his family.

  9. What a great man. He dedicated his life to public service. It was a privilege to work with him. Sending love and prayers to his wife and family. Our community is missing a hero.

  10. Many good memories of Chief Knapp and his outstanding life. I consider it a privilege and honor to have known such a great man.

  11. Ferndale feels emptier today without Chief Knapp in it. He was such a huge part of our community, and will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace my friend.

  12. I am so honored to have known this amazing man and very sad to hear of his passing. I am a better person for the time he shared with me.

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