MCALESTER, Okla. – A police captain in Oklahoma was found dead at his residence after he didn’t show up for work Thursday morning. Members of the McAlester Police Department and Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office were at the residence of Capt. Richard Parker after he was found unresponsive in bed, according to a report.
Parker, 52, was a 26-year veteran with the McAlester Police Department. Prior to joining the local police agency he served as a deputy with the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office, McAlester News-Capital reported.
Chief Kevin Hearod of the McAlester Police Department said an officer went to Parker’s residence in the Tannehill area after he did not report for work Thursday morning.
“He didn’t show up and he didn’t call in,” Hearod said. “That’s not like him.”
When the officer arrived at Parker’s home, his teenaged son answered the door. The officer asked the son to check on his father. Sadly, the son — who was staying with his father over spring break — found his dad unresponsive in bed, Hearod said.
First responders were summoned to the residence, but Parker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the chief.
The state Medical Examiner’s office was called and will conduct an inquiry since it is considered an unattended death, although police said Thursday morning there were no signs of foul play.
Hearod responded to the scene and said Parker appeared to be resting peacefully on his pillow, according to the McAlester News-Capital.
Officials released a statement regarding Parker and his service to the community.
“It is with great sadness that the McAlester Police Department announces the sudden loss of Captain Richard Parker. Captain Parker served the citizens of McAlester for over 26 years,” the statement said. “He truly understood his role to protect and serve our community and cared deeply for the citizens of McAlester and his fellow law enforcement officers. Captain Parker will be greatly missed by those who have had the pleasure of knowing him. We ask that you keep Captain Parker’s family, friends, and community in your thoughts as they grieve this great loss.”
At the time of his death, Parker served as the day-watch shift commander.
Hearod noted that he and Parker arrived at the McAlester Police Department close to the same time.
“I started in ‘95 and he started. in ‘96,” Hearod said.
Parker would have surpassed 27 years with MPD in July. He intended on working another five years before retiring, according to the chief.
In addition to his primary duties, Parker’s collateral assignments included firearms instructor and the department’s armorer.
“He loved to hunt and he loved to go on cruises with his kids,” Hearod said. “He loved his job and he loved his kids. … He was what you wanted in a cop. He was a solid officer and a solid dad.”