Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 23, 2013

COPS NOTEBOOK: Tough loss for Falls police

It’s been a sad week for Falls cops.

They lost one of their own and the city lost too.

I know its a cliche, but William “Bill” Gee was a gentle giant of a man and one of those really good guys you just can’t imagine won’t be around forever. But on Tuesday night, he lost his brave fight with stomach cancer.

I can’t imagine that anyone who knew Bill wasn’t devastated by the news. I know, I was.

I got to know Bill when he worked in the Warrants Division. Our paths had crossed before, but our regular contact working on the Niagara’s Most Wanted feature in the Gazette further developed our relationship.

He was the dictionary definition of a nice guy. A consummate cop, a perfect professional and someone who really cared about people.

Nothing drove that home to me more than when I found out about his illness. His fellow officers were putting together a fundraiser to help him deal with the mounting medical expenses he was facing and I spoke with him about the event.

I wanted to focus on his fight and how he was standing up to the disease. Bill was happy to speak about that for bit.

But Bill knew I had some medical issues in the past, ones that paled in comparison to his, and he deftly tried to turn the conversation away from himself.

“So, how you doin’?” he asked.

I was speechless. I told him I was just fine and I wanted to keep our conversation focused on him. 

Bill just said, “Oh, I’ll be OK.”

I’m going to miss seeing him, tall and built like a pro football player. I’ll miss his friendly smile and that deep, slightly raspy voice asking me, “What’s up?”

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