ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell Police Department is mourning the loss of an officer with 23 years of experience on the force after he died unexpectedly on duty following a medical emergency.
The department said in a release Thursday it was "heartbroken" to share the news of Lt. Joel Ruff's death. They did not detail the exact circumstances of his medical emergency.
Roswell PD said Ruff had always wanted to become an officer, joining the department's youth Police Explorers in 1995 and then joining the force in 1998.
"Before he ever pinned on his first badge, Lt. Ruff knew in his heart that service to our Roswell community was his calling," a statement by department said.
The statement said he had served in various roles throughout his 23 years with Roswell PD, and that his most recent assignment was as watch commander with one of the night patrol squads.
"The joy and pride he found in leading his men and women was infectious, and there was nothing he would not do or give of himself to see them succeed," the department said. "His presence is irreplaceable, and his memory unforgettable."
The statement added: "Lieutenant, rest easy. We have the watch from here."