Chief Constable Simon Edens has paid tribute to archivist Richard Cowley, who passed away last month.
Mr Cowley, who was born in Finedon before moving to Barton Seagrave, spent more than 20 years with the force and wrote several books about its history.
In 2014 he re-wrote an earlier book after a number of changes in policing.
Mr Cowley’s funeral was held in Finedon on January 31 in the packed church.
Chief Constable Simon Edens said: “I was tremendously sad to hear of Richard’s death and was honoured to attend his funeral at the end of last month as a representative of both Northamptonshire Police and the Police History Society.
“I got to know Dick pretty well and his passion and enthusiasm for our force history was infectious.
“We owe him a great debt of gratitude, not only for his service as a police officer, but for the hours he spent as a volunteer, ensuring our past was properly recorded and archived, and, very importantly, celebrated.”
Richard Cowley joined Northamptonshire Police in July 1970 and retired in June 1995.
Prior to joining the regular force he was a member of the Special Constabulary.
His first post was at Corby as a traffic officer and was based in the north of the county for the rest of his career, along the way acquiring his interest in police, criminal and legal history.
He graduated from the Open University with a BA in Modern History before going on to gain a Masters Degree in Victorian studies at Leicester University where his thesis was on the subject of the Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Richard became a respected author and indeed authority on the history of Northamptonshire Police and the history of the British Police Service.
He had several books on these and other subjects published.
He was the archivist and museum curator of Northamptonshire Police until his death.