The Boynton Beach Police Department mourns the loss of one of their own. Officer Joseph Crowder died while jogging Monday night.
He spent 14 years with the police department; most recently working as a K-9 handler.
The police chief said Crowder had a medical incident while jogging, but wouldn’t elaborate on the exact cause of death.
Tuesday the men and women in Boynton Beach police uniforms put on strong faces. They took children shopping for holiday presents. But you couldn't miss the black and blue mourning bands across their badges.
A coworker they called their role model passed away.
“Members of the public loved him, the criminal element hated him, and we're going to miss him,” said police Chief Jeff Katz.
He added Crowder epitomized what a he looked for in a police officer.
“Joe was that guy every one knew and respected,” said Ofc. Terrence Paramore.
Crowder trained Paramore when he joined the department six years ago. He remembers a man who led by example
“You could say anything you wanted to him, you could talk to him. He was like that big brother,” Paramore said.
As a K-9 handler, Crowder helped arrest a murder suspect and a man who led police on a 50-mile chase. But he always gave credit to the officers around him.
Chief Katz said there's one thing he'll miss even more than Crowder's humble approach.
“Just seeing his smile. He could light up a room when he walked in,” said Katz.
Now officers will be reminded of the colleague they lost each time they see the smiles of a younger generation.
“It felt like something Joe would want us to do,” Paramore said after leaving the shop with a cop event.
Crowder leaves behind two young children. He also served in the Army Reserves, according to Katz.
A GoFundMe page has been established for the officer's family.
— PBSO (@PBCountySheriff) December 13, 2016