Don Riffe

Don Riffe

Don Riffe, chief of the Jefferson College Police Department for the past three years, died early this morning, according to college officials.

Riffe also taught at the college’s Law Enforcement Academy.

“We’re sorry for the loss of Don Riffe,” Jefferson College President Dena McCaffrey said. “He has been an asset to Jefferson College and our Law Enforcement Academy. He will be missed.”

Roger Barrentine, Jefferson College director of public information and marketing, said little information was available about Riffe’s death.

“He passed early in the morning,” Barrentine said. “He had an extended hospital stay.”

Barrentine said Riffe’s death will be felt throughout the college’s campuses.

“We are devastated to lose such an important member of our college family,” he said. “Don was extremely professional in his duties as chief of the Jefferson College Police Department, not only his duties in the Police Department, but as an instructor with the college’s Law Enforcement Academy.

Our hearts go out to his family.”

Riffe, 59, became chief of the department Dec. 9, 2018, replacing Diane Scanga.

Previously he was in the Army for 10 1/2 years where he served in the Criminal Investigation Command, followed by 20 years as a civilian special agent in the CID. He started at Jefferson College in 2014 as a Law Enforcement Academy instructor, also working as an officer with the Jefferson College Police before becoming its chief.

McCaffrey said Lt. Beau Besancenez has led the Jefferson College Police in Riffe’s absence. Barrentine said college officials will decide later about replacing Riffe.