Police Officer Wayne "Butch" Nowell, Jr.

Police Officer Wayne "Butch" Nowell, Jr.

Meridian Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Wednesday, December 29, 2021

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Wayne "Butch" Nowell, Jr.

Police Officer Butch Nowell died from complications as a result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty.

Officer Nowell had served with the Meridian Police Department for only 69 days and had previously served 24 years with the Johnson's County Sheriff's Office. He is survived by his wife.

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.


  • Age 65
  • Tour 24 years, 2 months
  • Badge 203

Incident Details

  • Cause COVID19
  • Incident Date Monday, December 20, 2021

communicable disease, COVID-19

Most Recent Reflection

View all 28 Reflections

Butch was one of my original Field Training Officers when I began my law enforcement career. He was a good man, and had a kind heart. My wife and I still speak kindly of him and the love he showed towards our family. He gave so much for this profession and my heart is heavy hearing that he passed. God Bless you Butch Nowell. You will be missed.

G Melson

April 5, 2022

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