Kingsport, TN – Kingsport Police Officer Sean Cornett, who was also a school resource officer at Dobyns-Bennett High School, died unexpectedly on Tuesday while vacationing in Aruba.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we inform the citizens of the City of Kingsport that veteran Kingsport Police Officer and beloved long-time Dobyns-Bennett High School Resource Officer, Sean Cornett, passed away unexpectedly today while out of town on vacation,” the Kingsport Police Department (KPD) said in a press release on Tuesday.
“We ask that everyone keep his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time of grief. Out of respect for the privacy of his family and friends, no additional details will be released at this time,” the department said.
He served as a school resource officer at Dobyns-Bennett High School on two occasions, and spent a total of eight years in the school.
"He was an SRO here in two different stints over time, stepped away for a little bit when his sons were here, but missed it, and he wanted to come back, he loved the school and loved the students that much," Assistant Superintendent Andy True told WJHL.
Principal Chris Hampton said that Officer Cornett not only helped to keep students safe – he also set an example for youth to follow.
"Kind, generous, thoughtful, thankful, and he demonstrated that in his daily interaction with students, he did always have a smile,” Hampton said. “Officer Cornett was an incredible influence, and role model at our school...I can't imagine anyone doing it better.”
Those who knew Officer Cornett said he was a “great dad,” a friend to many, and a valued member of the community, WJHL reported.
“We're a family, and it's tough, tough,” an emotional KPD Chief David Quillin told WJHL as he struggled to hold back tears. “I've answered many calls with him over the years, and you get out of the police car with Sean, and he just garnered a tremendous amount of respect from all different areas of this city.”
Information regarding funeral and memorial services had not been released as of Friday afternoon.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kingsport Police Officer Sean Cornett, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.