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J. Bruce Preece

J. Bruce Preece

J. Bruce Preece, 61 of Flagler Beach, FL passed away Tuesday, December 10, 2013 following a long, courageous battle with cancer. An outdoor Celebration of Life and burial of ashes will be held June 7 at the home of his parents, Norma and the late Judge James E. Preece; 2260 La Terra Lane, Bemidji, starting promptly at 1:30 p.m. Correspondence can be directed to Lenore Siems: 218-750-1407 or Kathleen Preece: 218-556-0356.

He was born October 9, 1952 in International Falls, Minn., the son of Judge James E. Preece and Norma (Belluz) of Bemidji, MN.

He graduated in 1971 from Bemidji High School. He worked in law enforcement in the Bemidji area from 1971-1974, when he was hired as a Minnesota State Trooper and attended the Minnesota State Patrol Academy. He began his employment with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA); his first assignment was the narcotic unit in Bemidji. He elevated his law enforcement career in the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and was promoted to Special Agent Team Leader in 1986. He was transferred to the St. Paul Headquarters Training and Development Unit in 1989. Agent Preece held various positions in specialized divisions of the BCA including Special Ops as Hostage Negotiator and Specialized Programs. He worked in northern Minnesota as a resident narcotics supervisor, organizing the first ever Narcotics Enforcement Team 6 that encompassed multi-agency jurisdictions working cooperatively over a six-county area on narcotics enforcement.

He retired from BCA in 2001. After retirement he pursued his law enforcement career as Chief of Police in the city of Bemidji. His law enforcement career span included Criminal Fugitive Task Force; Founding member and President of the Minnesota State Association of Narcotic Investigator (MSANI) and Board of Directors of MN Police and Peace Officer Association.

In 2001, he married Michelle Olson in Spicer, Minn. They moved to Florida where he joined the Flagler County School District and served as Supervisor of Transportation for four years.

He is survived by his wife of 12 years, Michelle (Olson) Preece, step-son, Ryan Preece of Flagler Beach, mother, Norma Preece, Bemidji; three sisters: Kathleen Preece and Lenore (Preece) Siems of Bemidji, and Cindi (Ron) Robinson of Redwood Falls; and nephews James Siems, Bemidji, Joshua Zimmer of Redwood Falls, Mike Zimmer of Minneapolis, and Jake Zimmer of Redwood Falls; and golden retriever Chessy. He was preceded in death by his father, Judge James E. Preece of Bemidji, and brother-in-law Dann (Lenore) Siems.