Remembering a ‘gentle, kind’ man

Mark Chalvien, former L.B. deputy police commissioner, dies at 86


Mark Chalvien, a longtime Island Park resident and former Long Beach police officer who later served as acting deputy police commissioner of the department, died on Jan. 24 of heart failure. He was 86.

Chalvien, who was born on July 23, 1926 in Brooklyn, moved with family to Long Beach in 1928. Relatives said that Chalvien moved to Island Park later in life, where he resided when he died. He graduated from Long Beach High School in 1944, and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1948.

Chalvien, who is survived by his wife, Rita and has no children, was an avid hunter, marksman and outdoorsman, said his sister, Josephine Doyle, 73, of Long Beach. After World War II, she said, Chalvien worked for the Long Island Rail Road for close to 10 years as a signalman in Jamaica, Queens. Chalvien joined the Long Beach Police Department as a patrolman in 1956, she said.

“He was a terrific brother — I loved him very much,” Doyle said. “He was a kind, good spirit, and he had a good, happy life.”

An “emotional” public viewing was held for Chalvien on Feb. 2 at Vanella’s Funeral Chapel in Oceanside, and he was later cremated, Doyle said.

Family and friends remembered Chalvien as a dedicated family man, a committed and diligent police officer and someone who enjoyed life to the fullest. Family and former police colleagues credited him for being “instrumental” in helping to build the Long Beach Police Department’s shooting range, and said he was also a founding member of the Long Beach Pistol Club.

“Mark helped start the pistol range in Long Beach in 1960,” Doyle said. “He was very active, and dedicated to his job.”

Chalvien later became sergeant in 1965, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1969, according to police department records. He served as acting deputy police commissioner from 1977 to 1978, and after his service ended, returned to his lieutenant position. After more than 20 years with the department, Chalvien retired in 1979.

Long Beach Police Commissioner Mike Tangney recalled working with Chalvien in the late 1970s, and described him as a gentleman, a passionate policeman and a father figure. Tangney said he was “instrumental” in training him, and other officers, on how to use firearms.

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