GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Law enforcement badges are shrouded today as the Grand Junction Police Department mourns the loss of Cmdr. Greg Assenmacher.
Assenmacher became ill and collapsed Tuesday evening as he was exercising at his home, according to an email from Chief of Police John Camper.
His daughter Madison called 911 and tried to save him with CPR, but her efforts and the efforts of emergency crews were unsuccessful. GJPD spokesperson Kate Porras says he died of apparent natural causes.
Assenmacher has had a legendary career within the GJPD since 1981, serving as an officer, narcotics investigator, detective, school resource officer, SWAT officer, bike team, community advocacy officer, and field training officer.
In 2003, he became an investigator, working on high-profile cases like the murders of Linda and Kelly Benson, the 2008 Fuji Massage bust, the 2006 Robert Burke bombings, and the 2009 arrest of Jerry Nemnich.
"Assenmacher has served as one of the most outstanding representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department that we have had,” Camper said in his email. “Through volunteer work, CrimeStoppers, JUCO, the Honor Flights, and countless other outreach activities, his efforts on behalf of the citizens of this community are legendary. His commitment to solving crime and making Grand Junction a safer city will not soon be matched. Most important, we all knew him as one of the kindest and most giving men that we have had the pleasure of knowing. He will be deeply missed for years to come.”
The GJPD say their thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the many friends he had in the community. Authorities say new officers should strive to work to achieve the high bar he set for all police officers.
"If our new officers could come in and give the kind of caring and compassionate service that Greg provided for 33 years, 32 years, we'd be thrilled. Greg sets the bar for the type of person a police officer ought to be," Chief Camper said.
"For some of our younger officers Greg would be a great person to emulate. Not only for his police work but the work he's done throughout this community, the relationships that he's built," GJPD Cmdr. Mike Nordine added.
Assenmacher leaves behind a wife and two daughters. Funeral plans have yet to be announced.
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