Annapolis, MD – Annapolis Police Department (APD) Lieutenant Brian Della died unexpectedly on Tuesday.
The 54-year-old lieutenant’s exact cause of death was not released.
“It is with heavy hearts the Annapolis Police Department confirms the tragic and unexpected death of Lt. Brian Della,” the APD said in a press release on Thursday.
Lt. Della joined the APD in 1993 and moved up through the ranks throughout his 28-year career.
He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in July of 2005.
“He served in nearly every division of the Department, including specialized units, Annapolis Special Emergency Team-ASET, Criminal Investigations Division-CID, and the Marine Unit to name a few,” the APD noted.
Lt. Della’s love of the outdoors and for his community was evident in the additional programs he helped establish during his time on the force.
“He truly cared about the community and has left a lasting legacy,” the APD said. “In 2001, then-Cpl. Della envisioned a fish camp for community children so that they could experience a fishing adventure. His camp continues today and has positively affected hundreds of children in the community.”
Lt. Della was also quick to mentor children, join in a pickup game of football with neighborhood kids or to stop to chat with community members.
He “cared very deeply for the underserved of Annapolis,” according to his obituary.
“Brian had such quiet compassion for those in need. He spent many afternoons in the Annapolis Homework Helpers program working with elementary school children,” the tribute read. “On snowy and rainy evenings, he went in search of a particular homeless woman on West St. to make sure she had some sort of shelter.”
He even made it a common practice to stop by to visit the elderly at Glenwood High Rise, bringing meals to give residents from time to time.
“Brian was known for his commitment to community policing before community policing was a subject,” one of his fellow officers noted, according to his obituary. “Lieutenant Della saw greatness in everyone and wanted ‘everyone’ to see that same greatness in themselves.”
Lt. Della graduated from Frostburg State University with a bachelor of science degree and also held a master of science degree from John Hopkins University, according to his department.
He was an adjunct faculty member at Anne Arundel Community College and published multiple professional articles during his career.
Lt. Della also graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Session 231.
“It would be nearly impossible to list all Lt. Della’s accomplishments and accolades spanning his nearly three decades long career in law enforcement,” the APD said.
Lt. Della eaves behind his wife, Courtney, as well as his three adult children and his granddaughters.
He is also survived by his parents, brother, niece, nephew, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends and extended family members, according to his obituary.
“This department is grieving from his loss,” APD Chief Edward Jackson said in the press release. “It is a tragic loss for the Annapolis Police, but it is especially painful for Courtney and his children. Please hold them close in your hearts, pray for them as they grieve and support them through this most difficult time.”
“I am sorry for their loss and sorry for the loss to this department,” Chief Jackson added. “Lt. Della was an outstanding police officer.”
Lt. Della will be laid to rest on Saturday, according to his department.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Annapolis Police Department Lieutenant Brian Della, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.