(CBS DETROIT) – Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon died Thursday night from COVID-19.

Napoleon, 65, was hospitalized in late November after confirming he tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Last month, his family and co-workers held a prayer vigil for him after he was placed on a ventilator to “assist him with slowing his breathing and allowing his body to begin healing,” his daughter Tiffani Jackson said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan expressed their condolences following the news of Napoleon’s passing.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also released statements about Napoleon’s passing.

“Sheriff Benny Napoleon’s passing is a tremendous loss for the city of Detroit, Wayne County, and the entire state of Michigan,” said Gilchrist. “Benny was a pillar in the community—a model public servant who lead by example through conscientious words and selfless service. All throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheriff Napoleon stood tall on the front lines alongside members of his department to ensure that our community had what it needed to get through this crisis together. He was a progressive ally and champion for changing the justice system to better serve society. And he offered himself as a mentor at every opportunity, so that young leaders, like myself, can be, believe in, and become our greatest selves. Benny’s loss hits hard in the soul of so many people in southeast Michigan who had a chance to connect with him over his decades of service, and his legacy leaves our lives better because of his presence. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in power.”

Worthy stated Napoleon was a “beloved, iconic and respected law enforcement official.”

“He was progressive and he was old school,” she said. “He was tough and he had a heart of gold. But most of all, he was a genuine, caring, and loyal friend and colleague. I will miss him forever,” said Worthy. 

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