Longtime SEARCH Staff George Buck Dies

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George Buck (left) is joined by then-SEARCH Executive Director Gary Cooper at George's retirement celebration in 2003.
George Buck, who served as SEARCH's Deputy Executive Director for Administration and Finance prior to his retirement in 2003, died September 28, 2008, of complications related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

He was 67 and died at home in El Dorado Hills, California.

"George was an integral part of SEARCH operations for more than 30 years," noted SEARCH Executive Director Ron Hawley. "He was a friend to many SEARCH employees and Members, past and present, and will be remembered for his zest for life and love of golf."

George was hired in 1969 as the Administrative Coordinator for Project SEARCH, the predecessor agency to SEARCH Group. Project SEARCH was a multi-state initiative funded by the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). The project was run through a state agency called the California Crime Technological Research Foundation (CCTRF). Its purpose was to test the feasibility of sharing automated criminal history record information on an interstate basis. George was the first employee of Project SEARCH. In this position, he represented the project in interactions with the LEAA, the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and other Federal, State, and local justice agencies.

He left CCTRF in 1974 to help establish SEARCH Group, an independent 50-state nonprofit organization charged with continuing and expanding the work of Project SEARCH. George served in many capacities with SEARCH Group, including Deputy Director for Programs, but most of his work dealt with the administrative and financial dealings of the organization. Including his work with Project SEARCH, George's tenure spanned 34 years.

While at CCTRF, George hired Gary R. Cooper, who later became Executive Director for SEARCH Group, serving from 1983-2003. Gary credits George with being "one of the four key players responsible for the successful founding of Project SEARCH" and later as "a leader in the national work of SEARCH Group."

George received his bachelor's degree in Business from San Jose State University, and he completed graduate work in Public Administration at California State College, Los Angeles.

He is survived by two daughters, Lindy and Christina, and seven grandchildren.

SEARCH's success is due in no small measure to the many contributions of George Buck. SEARCH Members, Staff and colleagues will miss him.