Officials within the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office are confirming that Eastern Michigan University Police Chief Greg O’Dell died Friday after an apparent suicide.
Earlier today around noon, Ann Arbor City Police Officers responded to a 911 call from a concerned relative of O’Dell’s who found what appeared to be a suicide note.
Derrick Jackson, Community Engagement Director for the sherrif’s office, said at 12:30 p.m., officers found the missing vehicle belonging to Chief O’Dell in the 3000 block of Huron River Drive in Scio Township and as officers continued to search the area around the vehicle, they located his body.
Jackson said it appears O’Dell,54, died from a self inflicted gun shot wound.
Shock and disbelief has quickly spread through the area and within the law enforcement community, Jackson said.
“I’ve known Chief O’Dell for a long time….,” Jackson said. “When you lose a loved one, whether it’s a cop or a family member, it’s difficult… This is very shocking.”
EMU President Susan Martin released a statement and said her thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this very difficult.
“His death is a tragic loss to Eastern Michigan University and the Washtenaw County area,” Martin said. “Chief O’Dell was a wonderful man who was deeply admired for his tremendous contributions to the Ann Arbor and Eastern Michigan communities. He was respected both as a caring person and as a highly accomplished police officer. He was a beloved and key member of the leadership team of Eastern and I will personally deeply miss him.”
Roy Wilbanks, chair of the EMU Board of Regents, said he is “deeply saddened” about the news.
“He was highly valued for his leadership of public safety efforts at Eastern, where he made a tremendous impact in a few short years,” Wilbanks said. “Chief O’Dell will be missed by all of us here at Eastern. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”