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Longest-serving police officer, Dennis Neverve, dies at 70

Longest-serving police officer, Dennis Neverve, dies at 70

Dennis Neverve, Palo Alto's longest-serving police officer, died of an apparent heart attack Sunday March 2nd, one day before he was set to receive a proclamation from the city council. He was 70.

Palo Alto police Chief Dennis Burns said the force was reeling from Neverve's death.

Friends and family remembered Neverve as an old-school cop who was well-liked and respected.

"Within the community, I think a lot of people knew him because he was just a hardworking guy who came to work every day, who enjoyed what he was doing and tried to make things better for the people he came in contact with," said Burns, who credits Neverve with giving him the confidence he needed to succeed at the firing range and graduate from the police academy in 1982.


Neverve's older brother, Adrian Neverve, said the two rarely got together but spoke regularly. Their last telephone conversation was about a story that recently appeared in The Daily News about Dennis' retirement from the reserves.

"As soon as I read that, I called him up and the first thing out of his mouth was, 'Well, I'm a civilian now,'" Adrian, 73, said with a laugh. "I said, 'OK, yeah, now you can join the ranks of the rest of us.'"

Adrian said his brother wasn't a fan of newfangled technology, preferring a landline to a cellphone.

"He also didn't know much about computers," Adrian said. "He could care less. I know when he was on patrol, he was fighting those computers. Most of the stuff he did, he wrote out longhand. He was just from the old school and he enjoyed doing things the way he did."

True to form, Neverve carried a Colt Python .357 Magnum his entire career, saying in an interview that he was willing to forgo the firepower of a semiautomatic for the reliability of a revolver.

Though shaken by Neverve's death, the police department pushed forward with the ceremony Monday. Nearly 100 of his former colleagues looked on while Mayor Nancy Shepherd presented the proclamation to Stouffer. Everyone then stood for a moment of silence.

"He was truly the cop's cop," said Redwood City resident Robert Smith, who served with Neverve for 20 years. "He was a gentleman, didn't get out of control and respected every person regardless of race, color or creed. He was just basically a really nice guy to work with."

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