Waxhaw, NC – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Airport Division Officer Anthony “Tony” Crawford died unexpectedly on June 6.
The 70-year-old officer was off-duty at his home when he passed way, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said in a press release two days later.
Officer Crawford’s exact cause of death was not immediately released.
The CMPD said the circumstances of his death remained under investigation, WSOC reported.
Chief Jennings described the loss of the veteran officer as “tragic.”
Officer Crawford joined the CMPD in 1989 and served his community for 34 years, WSOC reported.
He was one of the department’s first bike patrol officers and had also been a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Charlotte Hornets’ security team since the team’s inception, Chief Jennings said.
“Known, trusted and counted on around the Spectrum Center, he will be truly irreplaceable,” the police chief added.
Officer Crawford also worked inside the National Football League (NFL) Carolina Panthers’ money room from 1995 until 2020, according to his obituary.
He retired from the department in 2013, but was hired back later that same year, Chief Jennings said.
Officer Crawford spent the rest of his life serving with the department’s Airport Division.
“We ask for prayers of comfort, healing and peace during this time of grief for his family, fellow officers and for all who knew and loved him,” the police chief wrote.
Officer Crawford leaves behind his wife, La’Kesha, as well as his children, Courtney, Khai, Sheila, and Ka’Rin, and his grandson, Ethan, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, and extended family members.
Officer Crawford will be laid to rest on June 15.
CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings says Officer Tony Crawford tragically passed away on Tuesday, he was assigned to the airport division.
— Genevieve Curtis (@GenevieveonTV) June 8, 2023
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Airport Division Officer Anthony “Tony” Crawford, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.