Retired officer Laura Lindstadt-Denney, who served University Police Department (UPD) for 22 years, passed away July 31. She was 60.

Born October 30, 1958, she was hired by UPD in June 1983. Through her long tenure, she served in roles including patrol officer, field training officer, first aid and CPR instructor, arrest-control officer, and Summer Orientation presenter. She left the University in 2005.

Her former colleagues describe her as outgoing and friendly, and said she was on a first-name basis with many individuals throughout the campus community.

Lindstadt-Denney was one of Sgt. David Bird’s training officers when he started his law enforcement career at Chico State. He said she taught him to treat everyone with respect and always look for the good in people, and that he will never forget all of her lessons.

“Laura treated me as an equal, even on my first day. Laura would always talk about your aura and tell you how bright it was shining,” he said. “She always had a smile on her face; you would be hard-pressed to find a situation without her smiling or laughing.”

Officer Jason Plainer describes Lindstadt-Denney as “a gentle soul with a huge heart.”

“She took the time to teach me during training, and not just about the law, policy, and procedure, but about the value of human connection within public safety,” Plainer said. “She was an advocate for all those in need. A healer with a caretaker’s spirit. I implement her philosophies to this day.”

In retirement, she enjoyed a second career in therapeutic massage and bodywork techniques, and also participated in martial arts. She is survived by her husband, Pat; sister Becky; children Brieanne, Landon, Alyssa, Sammy, Amanda, and Suzanne; grandchildren Alexandra, Gavin, Odessa, Randy, Tinzleigh, Alyssa-Marie, and Tobias; and her great-grandson Emmett.  

A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, August 7, at 11 a.m. at the Chico Elks Lodge. Lindstadt-Denney’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses.

The University flag will be lowered Monday, August 12, in her honor.