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Heroic DeWitt Sergeant loses battle with COVID-19

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: November 6, 2020

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Courtesy of DeWitt Twp. Police Dept.              DeWitt Township Police Sgt. Bill Darnell

The POLC is greatly saddened to announce the passing of a one of our own due to complications from COVID-19. Decorated DeWitt Township Police Sgt. Bill Darnell passed away Nov. 4 after testing positive for COVID-19 in late October.

“Sgt. Darnell was a hero and we were fortunate to have him return to service after being critically injured during a domestic violence call in 2008,” said Rob Figurski, POLC Director. “The POLC sends our deepest condolences to his family and his DeWitt brothers in blue.”

His passing comes days after the DeWitt Township Police Department shut down when Chief of Police Mike Gute and several officers tested positive for coronavirus, while others were in quarantine due to exposure, said POLC Labor Rep. Duane Smith.

Darnell was a decorated Sergeant who returned to full duty with the department in December 2009 after being shot in the face Nov. 6, 2008 by a man who had driven from Florida to a DeWitt apartment complex to kill his 38-year-old estranged wife. Darnell and DeWitt Police Officer Michael Nunham were able to return fire killing the perpetrator.

The POLC honored Darnell with the Outstanding Service Award in 2009. He was awarded by NAPO as Michigan’s 2009 Top Cop. In 2018, he was honored again with the “Beyond the Call of Duty” award from Michigan Crime Victim Foundation for his response during that 2008 domestic violence incident.

Out of respect and concern for public health and safety, the family has chosen to postpone funeral services. A service of remembrance will be held at a later date.

To make a donation or for more information visit the Sgt. Bill Darnell Memorial Page on Facebook.

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