DETROIT, MI – Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon has died due to complications from COVID-19.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan posted to social media the following:
“I am shocked and saddened at the loss of one of our city’s greatest public servants and native sons, Benny Napoleon. I cannot think of a leader in this town who has been more loved and admired than Benny. He was born in the city, served our community courageously his entire adult life, and loved Detroit as much as anyone I’ve ever known.Please keep his daughter Tiffani, his family and friends, and the entire Wayne County sheriffs office in your prayers as they struggle with their painful loss.”
Prosecutor Kym Worthy issued the following statement:
“I cannot even begin to imagine a world without Benny in it. He was a beloved, iconic, and respected law enforcement official. 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.”
Sheriff Napoleon was 65-years-old when he died on Thursday December 17th, 2020.
He began his career with the Detroit Police Department in 1975, and rose through the ranks. He served as Detroit Police Department’s chief of police from 1998 to 2001 when Dennis Archer was the mayor of Detroit. In 2004 he was made Assistant Wayne County Executive, and in 2009 he became Wayne County Sheriff. He remained in that position until the day of his death.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued this statement following the death of Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, who passed away this evening after a battle with COVID-19:
“I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of my friend and colleague Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon. I have long admired his work at the department and was honored to have an opportunity to partner with him as a colleague.“
“Benny was beloved by so many in the Wayne County community and around the state. We enjoyed a close relationship since the time I took office, including working feverishly together last spring to bring much-needed PPE to his department to protect his deputies, who he cared so deeply for. I could always count on Benny for his support, his input and his cooperation. He was a wonderful man and his passing is a loss not only for his family but also for his many friends and co-workers. Benny had so much life yet to live; our community has once again lost someone larger than life to this vicious pandemic.”
“My heart goes out to Benny’s family. It was an honor and a privilege to call him my sheriff.”
Six other members of Sheriff Napoleon’s family had died prior to him from COVID-19 complications.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard issued the following statement on Sheriff Napoleon’s untimely death:
“I am at a loss for words in finding out about the passing of a dear friend and law enforcement partner, Sheriff Benny Napoleon. Benny led the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office with professionalism and provided excellent leadership for his agency. I was privileged to work with him on policy issues at both the state and federal level that made a difference for law enforcement across the country.
It was comforting to know that our county partner to the south was always a phone call away and Benny always stepped up if we needed assistance. My heart goes out to his family and the men and women of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office during this difficult time. Sheriff Napoleon will be deeply missed and I am saddened to lose a close member of my law enforcement family.”
No further information is currently available. Please check back for updates.