An Ashland police officer on the force for more than two decades died Friday from a medical episode suffered while on duty.
Officer Malcus Williams, who spent more than 21 years on the force, suffered a "major medical event" while responding to a domestic call Friday evening, according to Ashland police Chief Tighe O'Meara.
At about 7:25 p.m. Friday, Williams went into medical distress as soon as he arrived at a call in the 2000 block of Grizzly Drive, according to O'Meara. He collapsed near the door of the home, O'Meara said.
Two other officers immediately rendered aid to Williams while Ashland Fire and Rescue paramedics rushed to the area. A third officer handled the dispute that brought about the call, according to O'Meara.
Paramedics rushed Williams to Providence Medford Medical Center, but efforts to resuscitate him were not successful. Williams was pronounced dead at about 9 p.m.
Williams began his law enforcement career with the Ashland Police Department Dec. 9, 1996, and spent most of his career working as a patrol officer, though he'd worked as an acting police sergeant over the years.
O'Meara said Williams was popular in the community and with partner agencies, volunteered at middle and high schools and had the "perfect disposition to be a police officer."
"He made people feel calm and respected," O'Meara said.
Medford police honored Williams on its Facebook page Saturday.
"Officer Williams served the Ashland community with kindness and honor for 21 years," the post said.
Central Point police recognized Williams' volunteer efforts participating in DARE Days at Central Point schools.
"Officer Williams was a kind and generous person who served the community for more than 21 years," said the Jackson County Sheriff's Office in a Facebook post. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the Ashland community."
Williams' involvement with youth went back at least a decade.
In April 2007, when kids staged a "sit-in" at the Ashland children's library reacting to Jackson County library closures, Williams was the duty officer who escorted the children out of the building — but only after reading them "Leonardo the Terrible Monster" first. The following October, when the Ashland library reopened, Williams led the group of children back inside.
Williams leaves behind a wife, Ona, three daughters, Savannah, Georgia and Brooklyn, and two sisters, Cindy and Amy. Amy Williams works as an Ashland police records specialist.
"We want to be there for his family more than anything, but it's a loss all the way around," O'Meara said.
Memorial services and funeral arrangements are pending. The police department is requesting donations to the family go through the nonprofit Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation at www.oregonfallenbadge.com or by contacting any US Bank Branch, and referencing the Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation and Officer Malcus Williams fund.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.