As most know by now, Lynden Police Chief John Billester is retiring at the end of June from law enforcement after a long and distinguished career including nearly three decades with the Lynden Police Department. His service has been stellar and his contribution to Lynden as a community have been nothing short of amazing. He deserves our gratitude for what he has done for us and his service to all.

John and I have served together from his beginning here. I will not be able to be at his retirement parties due to a family vacation, so I will use this way to thank the man properly for what his service has meant for the city as well as to me personally. 

On a professional level, chief Billester has been with us as we graduated from being a large town to becoming a small city. He took the care and safety of both officers and the public to heart. His appreciation and concern for the citizens of this town was always evident. He has been a moral and honest leader of our police department. His passion for justice was great. His desire for integrity in the pursuit of that justice was greater.  

On a personal level, he has meant a lot to all of us. As for myself, John helped me and others on the department to grow into not only seasoned police officers, but into young parents and spouses. Slow to anger and never a curse word from him, he taught us to be better. One of John’s favorite sayings is, “Remember who you are and what you represent.” This simple saying is something many of us will remember and it was something he lived by.

His love for his family was clearly obvious. He modeled the type of family man we all could aspire to be. Law enforcement can harden a person, but John remained a constant example of what Christian love and empathy should look like in a police officer.  

I ask that if you see him, take the time to thank him for his service to the community and his leadership to us personally and professionally. It is my prayer that God gives us another great officer to serve as the next police chief. God bless Chief John Billester and his wife Caprice as he calls it a career. May God also provide the mayor wisdom as he seeks the chief’s replacement in the coming months.  

— Lee Beld, sergeant, Lynden Police Department