A Black police officer reportedly died during training exercises, just a month after starting his new job, according to KAIT.
Vincent Parks, 38, was recently hired by the Jonesboro Police Department in Arkansas when he suddenly passed away on Sunday, July 17, according to a news release from the department.
Reporters say the rookie cop just finished coursework and several weeks of in-house instructional training at Central Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, which is located at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. During his training over the weekend, Parks started suffering from "medical distress," according to authorities.
“Parks was able to walk to an ambulance that had been summoned but was stricken by cardiac arrest almost immediately upon entering the ambulance," Arkansas State Police says. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, and officials are still trying to determine the cause of death.
Now, the police department is mourning the loss of one of its newest officers.
“For our department it’s a loss, for the community it’s a loss,” Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott told KAIT. “You know we had a man that was dedicated and would’ve been a fine officer.”
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson expressed his condolences for the late police officer on Tuesday (July 19):
"Vincent Parks chose to dedicate his life in service to his community. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing as he served those around him. Susan and I are praying for his family, and I have directed the flags to be lowered in his memory."
Parks, who's a Jonesboro native, is survived by his wife Christina, a daughter, his sister, his grandmother, and a brother and sister-in-law, according to an online obituary. He briefly attended Arkansas State University and worked at Cracker Barrel for 14 years before joining the police force.
The obituary says he will get an honors funeral ceremony provided by the Jonesboro Police Department's Honor Guard on Friday (July 22).