Detroit, MI – Detroit Police Officer James Hearn was killed in a car crash off-duty early on Thursday morning.
Officer Hearn, 27, was driving home from fishing with his girlfriend and his 11-year-old daughter at about 3:45 a.m. on July 26, after a long day of mentoring youth in the Detroit Police Department’s Team-Up program, when his vehicle crashed into a light pole on Woodward Avenue at the State Fair intersection, WDIV reported.
A transit police officer who witnessed it told police that Officer Hearn’s car was not speeding at the time of the wreck, according to WDIV.
Officer Hearn and his girlfriend were killed in the crash.
His daughter was in the backseat of the vehicle and only sustained minor injuries, WDIV reported. She was taken to the hospital and released.
Police have not yet released the name of Officer Hearn’s girlfriend.
Officer Hearn followed his father's legacy at the Detroit Police Department, where his father served on the force for 30 years before he retired, WDIV reported.
He was very involved in the community and youth programs, and had volunteered with the Police Athletic league for two years, the Ann Arbor News reported.
Officer Hearn also volunteered as an assistant coach for various sports teams through the Detroit PD’s Team-Up initiative, the Detroit Free Press reported.
"James was what I would call the ultimate community police officer," Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. "He loved his job."
"While his time was short, he did, in fact, make a mark. He made a mark on the people he worked with, but also with the citizens he protected and served,” the chief said.
Officer Hearn was previously awarded a lifesaving citation for saving someone from a burning building, the chief said, pointing out how unusual it was for a cop to find himself facing fire instead of a firefight.
A four-year veteran of the Detroit PD, Officer Hearn spent most of his career in the 12th Precinct and the last year in Downtown Services, where he worked on crowd control and management, including pedestrians and vehicles, the Detroit Free Press reported.
"We love each and every one of the officers," Chief Craig said. "We love James Hearn. We feel his presence right now as we speak."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Detroit Police Officer James Hearn, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.