Hero Down: Wayne County Sheriff's Cmdr. Donafay Collins Dies From Coronavirus
Detroit, MI – Wayne County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Commander Donafay Collins died on Wednesday after contracting COVID-19.
The 63-year-old commander had been hospitalized for weeks prior to his death, according to The Detroit News.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said that Commander Collins also suffered from underlying medical conditions, the Detroit Free Press reported.
A total of 18 WCSO staff members or contractors had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Wednesday night, according to The Detroit News.
The loss of the commander has been a devastating blow to the entire department, Sheriff Napoleon told the Detroit Free Press.
“It was like someone put an anvil around my neck and just dropped it,” he said. “And I've been feeling very heavy since all of this transpired because I know that this is not the last of it.”
Sheriff Napoleon said he has known Commander Collins since they were kids, and that they grew up together in eastern Detroit.
“He was very respectful of my position as the leader of the agency, but he was always quick to remind me that he knew me when,” the sheriff told the Detroit Free Press with a laugh.
The 30-year veteran-of-the-force was commander of the department’s Division 2 jail at the time of his death, and would likely have advanced up the ranks even further, Sheriff Napoleon said.
He described Commander Collins as a well-respected officer who was both a mentor and a role model within the department.
“It’s going to be a great loss for this agency — and for the whole community,” he told the Detroit Free Press.
In addition to his role within the department, Commander Collins was also a well-known radio disc jockey until he retired from that position in 2019, The Detroit News reported.
Commander Collins leaves behind his wife and four children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Commander Donafay Collins, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.