A 60-year-old retired Long Beach police sergeant took his own life Wednesday morning outside a department substation, police reported.
Officers were sent at 10:47 a.m. to investigate a reported suicide at the Long Beach East substation parking lot at Willow Street and Grand Avenue, where they found a man — later identified as Don Campbell of Lakewood — with a gunshot wound to his chest, according to Long Beach Police Department Sgt. Vincent Otto.
Firefighters pronounced Campbell dead at the scene.
The sheriff’s department has been asked to assist in the investigation so that department personnel can grieve their loss, Otto said.
The decorated ex-sergeant, husband and father retired in December 2017 after more than 28 years with the LBPD, according to the Long Beach Police Officers Association.
Campbell worked a variety of assignments after graduating from the police academy in July 1989, including patrol, field training officer, narcotic enforcement, gang detail, special enforcement section and SWAT, according to the union.
“Don was the lead instructor for the department’s first AR-15 certification courses and was a certified less lethal instructor in addition to riot/crowd control, mobile field force and firearms,” according to the union. He received the SWAT Commitment to Excellence award in 1999.
Campbell was promoted to sergeant in June 2000 and amassed about 100 commendations throughout his career, officials said.
“Don was also nominated for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award that could be bestowed upon a public safety officer,” according to the LBPOA.