OSP mourns Sergeant whose body was found in his patrol car while on-duty

SALEM, Ore. — A Sergeant from the La Grande Patrol Office of the Oregon State Police (OSP) was found dead in his patrol car on Tuesday with the expected cause of death being suicide.

According to a statement published on the OSP Facebook page, the late Sergeant has been identified as Marcus McDowell. He was a 17-year veteran of the State Police who had strong relationships with many people throughout the organization.

His death investigation is being led by the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office. Their team is working in conjunction with the State Medical Examiner’s Office, which determined the cause of death as suicide. Authorities say that Sgt. McDowell was on-duty at the time of his passing.

During his lengthy OSP career, Sgt. McDowell served as a member of the Patrol Division, Fish and Wildlife Division and as a K-9 handler. He primarily worked in the La Grande and John Day regions.

The Critical Incident Response Team was activated by OSP Superintendent Davie to provide support to employees who have been impacted most by this passing.

OSP offered the following comments in the social media post:

The Oregon State Police thanks the members of the public and other public safety partners for their support during this difficult time.

Law Enforcement Officers have some of the same struggles as the rest of us and need help too. Mental Health is just as important as physical health in Law Enforcement. It has only been since 2018 that the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 (LEMHWA) was signed into law recognizing that law enforcement agencies need and deserve support in their ongoing efforts to protect the mental health and well-being of their employees.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, speak up, ask for help, reach out to professionals. There are many resources available to everyone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States- 1-800-273-8255. Crisis Text Line is a texting service for emotional crisis support. Text HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.


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