Beloved Michigan Sheriff Benny Napoleon, 65, Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, who was hospitalized last month with COVID-19, has died at 65.

Many Wayne County, Detroit and Michigan officials have issued statements honoring the late sheriff who served more than 45 years of service in law enforcement. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Mayor Mike Duggan and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy are among those who have expressed condolences for Napoleon’s loss.

Although Napoleon initially tested negative for the virus on November 13, he began to experience symptoms a few days later. His second COVID-19 test came back positive, according to Local4. Napoleon died of COVID-19 complications Thursday evening (December 17).

Napoleon was appointed sheriff in 2009 and continued to win elections since. He was slated to begin his next term in January, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office lowered its flag to honor Napoleon, a “heartbreaking task” done with “extreme sadness” in announcing the sheriff’s death, according to a statement from the department.

“While he was tough on crime, he was beloved throughout the region for his compassion, faith and deep sense of community,” the statement read, in part. “He was a true leader in every sense of the work, known to announce to the families of new recruits that if the families promised to take care of them at home, he’d take care of them on the job!”

“Sadly, he was diagnosed with Covid 19 in November and fought hard to recover,” the statement continued. “A prayer vigil led by his daughter, Tiffani Jackson, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Corps drew widespread prayer and support from throughout the community and across the nation. Jackson says his family acknowledges the outpouring of support they’ve received, as they remember the man who everyone loved so dearly…During this difficult time, we ask that you keep Sheriff Napoleon’s family, loved ones, friends, colleagues and the WCSO in your thoughts and prayers. We will inform you of more details as the information becomes available.”

Jackson, Napoleon’s daughter, encouraged others to remember her father for “his generosity, integrity and faithfulness.” Ke was kind to everyone and loved his family, she said.

Photo: Getty Images

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