Sergeant William James Darnell

Sergeant William James Darnell

DeWitt Township Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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William James Darnell

Sergeant Bill Darnell died as the result of complications after contracting COVID-19 while on duty.

In 2008 Sergeant Darnell was ambushed and shot point-blank in the face during a domestic disturbance call. Despite his wounds, Sergeant Darnell was able to fight back and killed his attacker. As a result of his courage, Sergeant Darnell was presented with one of the nation's Top Cop awards by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Sergeant Darnell had served with the DeWitt Township Police Department for 20 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.


The Effects of COVID on Law Enforcement

Beginning in early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country began to contract COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic. Due to the nature of their job, law enforcement officers were required to work and interact with the community even as the majority of the country was self-quarantined. As a result, hundreds of officers died from COVID-related illnesses and other complications.

Corrections agencies, in particular, suffered tremendous losses due to the constant and close proximity between the corrections officers and large inmate populations. Since March 2020, ODMP has verified that over 600 law enforcement officers have died as the result of a confirmed or presumed exposure while on duty and continues to work with hundreds of other agencies that have suffered a COVID-related death.

Visit ODMP's COVID-19 memorial listing every officer who has died as a result of a confirmed or presumed exposure.

Bio

  • Age 52
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause COVID19
  • Incident Date Friday, October 23, 2020

communicable disease, COVID-19

Most Recent Reflection

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Your smile, that cigar, and your friendship will be forever. May you rest in peace, my brother. God bless your family.

Scott Pellerito, Chief Retired
Buena Vista Twp. MI, DPS

April 30, 2021

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