Former police sergeant dies
Prineville Police Chief Dale Cummins confirmed Tuesday that Mark Monroe, a former sergeant with the agency, took his life on Monday afternoon.
"Yesterday afternoon, the members of our law enforcement community lost a good man and dear friend," Cummins wrote in a statement posted to the police department's Facebook page on Tuesday.
In the post, Cummins stated that Monroe had resigned from the local agency on Jan. 10.
"The Prineville Police Department grieves over the loss of our friend, mentor, and colleague," he wrote.
The post, which can be found on the Prineville Police Department Facebook page, includes a musical video tribute to Monroe featuring music Cummins said he would have preferred.
Cummins said that Monroe was a military veteran, serving in the Army National Guard from 1991 to 1999. He started his law enforcement career as a Prineville police reserve officer in 2004. He was employed by Warm Springs Police from 2004 until 2005, and then returned to Prineville as a police officer, where he remained for the rest of his law enforcement career.
During his tenure with at the Prineville department, Monroe worked as a patrol officer, criminal detective, sexual assault response team member, domestic violence investigator, field training officer and reserve coordinator.
Monroe received the Officer of the Year award in 2008, an award that was voted on by his fellow officers and dispatchers. Cummins said he displayed a true desire to serve the local community.
"A shining example of how much Mark cared occurred in 2012. Mark recognized that a lot of our kids in Prineville were unable to attend the summer carnival because of a lack of funds, and oftentimes the smaller kids struggled to enjoy the carnival when the older kids were around," he said. "Mark, working with several community partners, developed a free carnival day for kids 12 and under. Not only was it free, no one else was allowed in the carnival during this time. That way the young kids could enjoy everything the carnival had to offer."
Cummins added that several law enforcement officers, firefighters and other community volunteers rode with the kids and developed relationships on that special day. In addition, Monroe expanded the carnival day by obtaining free bike helmets, ice cream, safety coloring books, pencil and more to enhance the children's safety long after the carnival was over.
This past August, Monroe was featured on the Central Oregonian's "Protect, Serve and Support" page. The page, which is printed monthly, features one member of the Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff's Office, Crook County Fire and Rescue, and Crook County Sheriff's Search and Rescue. The respective agencies choose a staff member each month and those who are selected fill out a questionnaire about themselves and the job they do.
In his questionnaire, Monroe said that the first time you help someone out of a very bad situation and they thank you for just doing your job, it makes you feel like you have the best job in the world.
Cummins concluded his statement by stressing that Monroe "touched the lives of so many."
"His loss hurts our department and dispatch center deeply," he said.
The Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance operates three 24-hour hotlines. If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, call one of the numbers below:
Crook County: 541-323-5300 ext. #1
Jefferson County: 541-475-6575
Deschutes County: 541-322-7500 ext. #9
Additional resources and information are available at:
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