Holyoke, MA - According to Holyoke Police Department, Sergeant David O'Connell, 54, was found dead in his home early Saturday morning.
Chief of Police James M. Neiswanger said Sergeant O'Connell was off-duty when he was found, but he did not provide any further details other than indicating that the death was not considered suspicious.
Chief James Neiswanger gave a statement saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. The Holyoke Police Department lost a dear brother and loved one today. All of us are grieving his loss," Neiswanger said in a statement. "I respectfully ask others to consider his family's privacy during this extremely difficult and trying time. Sergeant David O'Connell will be greatly missed."
Sergeant David O'Connell was the son of the former Holyoake Deputy Chief Francis O'Connell. In March of 1985 Sergeant O'Connell became a reserve officer for the Holyoake Police Department, and in 1986 he became a full time officer with the department.
During his 31 year police career with Holyoake Police Department, Sergeant O'Connell received six letters of commendation, three medals of commendation, and multiple letters from citizens of the community who Sergeant David O'Connell helped.
According to the department, Sergeant David O'Connell was passionate about fitness, and often helped his colleagues improve their own health and fitness levels. Sergeant O'Connell was also described to be passionate about basketball.
Sergeant O'Connell was said to be a member of the Holyoke Police Athletic League, the Massachusetts Police Association, the Holyoake Police Relief Association,and was said to be a supporter of the Holyoake Boy's and Girl's Clubs.
Sergeant O'Connell leaves behind his wife, Mary, and son, Joey, sister Mary Britton, and his brothers Fran, and retired Holyoake Police Officer John O'Connell.
Chief of Police James M. Neiswanger said funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.
The Cummington Police Department posted a tribute to Sergeant David O'Connell on their official Twitter account that read, "Thoughts & prayers go out to the family, friends & members of the Holyoke PD with the passing Sergeant O'Connell. RIP Sergeant!
We all feel for the family, both blood and blue, of Hero Sergeant David O'Connell. Please keep his family in your thoughts and feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.
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