Wilbraham, MA – Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) Sergeant Mark Ouimet, 51, died unexpectedly on Monday, after he collapsed while he was out for a walk on Easter Sunday.
Sgt. Ouimet was rushed to the Baystate Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, Hampton County Sheriff Nick Cocchi told MassLive.
The department issued a heartbreaking post in honor of their “esteemed comrade and friend” on Monday.
“You’ve taught us endurance, you showed no fear, Rest easy Sergeant; we’ll take it from here,” the statement read.
“He was a one-of-a-kind guy,” Sheriff Cocchi told MassLive.
Sgt. Ouimet, who served in the U.S. Marines prior to joining the HCSD in March of 1996, was also the head of the department’s K9 unit.
His partner, K9 Dalka, who was already trained in narcotics detection, was just three weeks away from being certified to accompany the sergeant on patrol, Sheriff Cocchi said.
Once K9 Dalka’s training is completed, the dog will now be donated to Sgt. Ouimet’s son, Alex, who recently became a U.S. Marine K9 officer in California, the sheriff noted.
In addition to Alex, Sgt. Ouimet leaves behind his wife, Tracie, and their son, Josh.
His family was able to say goodbye to him at the hospital, as K9 Dalka climbed onto the sergeant’s bed for one final moment of togetherness.
On Tuesday, the HCSD posted a photo montage of Sgt. Ouimet’s career on their Facebook page.
He received numerous honors for distinguished service and professional excellence throughout his decades-long career, MassLive reported.
Sgt. Ouimet was the International Brotherhood of Correctional Officers Local 248 president, and also captained the HCSD hockey team.
In his off-time, he coached baseball and soccer, and often volunteered at his local animal shelter.
Sgt. Ouimet will be laid to rest on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hampden County Sergeant Mark Ouimet, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.