Wayne County, Mi., Sheriff Benny Napoleon, a man who dedicated decades to public service and became a household name in Detroit, died Thursday after a month-long fight with COVID-19, reports the Detroit Free Press. Napoleon was 65. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said, “His quick laugh, eager partnership, and candid counsel is what I will miss most.” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said it was difficult to imagine a world without Napoleon. “He was a beloved, iconic, and respected law enforcement official,” she said. “He was progressive and he was old school. He was tough and he had a heart of gold. But most of all, he was a genuine, caring, and loyal friend and colleague. I will miss him forever.”
Napoleon, who had served as sheriff since 2009, announced he was positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 19. Police agencies across the U.S. have struggled against spread of coronavirus in their ranks. It’s impossible for first responders to stay away from human contact and interacting with one another, which is why federal plans call for first responders to receive doses during phase one of vaccine distribution.