DPD asks for prayers after veteran officer's sudden death

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The Dallas Police Department is mourning the sudden death of a veteran officer.

Sr. Cpl. Eugene Fox died Monday night. People who were close to him called him Joey.

The father of five adult sons and grandfather died suddenly Monday evening of a massive heart attack.

The news stunned fellow officers. To their knowledge, the army veteran had no known health issues.

“He was at the academy. He taught all day. Him and another academy instructor went out and went running. Ran. Worked out,” said Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata. “He actually got off work about 5-5:30 p.m. Got home. Went for another run. Decided to cut his grass. Unfortunately, he fell and had a heart attack in his backyard.”

Fox joined the department in 1984 and most recently worked in the basic training academy. The 59-year-old appeared in a public service announcement video last year on what to do during a traffic stop. Along the way, he left the department to go to law school, became a defensive tactics expert who could provide expert testimony in court.

Fox ultimately returned to what he loved most: The Dallas Police Department.

“He could have done anything,” Mata said. “But the fact that he came back here to where his roots were I think speaks tremendously of his character.”

Friends say Fox could outrun any recruit, but his biggest strength was intangible.

“He taught officers how to be compassionate,” Mata said. “I think that’s what he instilled in these young recruits that you could talk your way out of a problem. There’s a sensible way to do it rather than always have to take the hard road or the hard way.”

The department is asking for prayers for his family and friends.