Mesa, AZ – Mesa Police Department (MPD) Officer Mitchell “Mitch” Winters died over the weekend due to an apparent suicide, his department announced on Tuesday.
Officer Winters, 23, served in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to recently joining the MPD, the agency said in a Facebook post.
“Our hearts are broken, and our deepest condolences are with the Winters’ family,” the MPD said.
Mesa Police Chief Ken Cost spoke about the young officer’s death in a YouTube video on Nov. 14.
“We’re all just so saddened and devastated by the loss of Mitchell Winters,” Chief Cost said. “We haven’t gone through something like this as a department family in over 20 years.”
Officer Winters was “dedicated to service,” the chief noted, and had previously been a member of the police explorers program while growing up in the Bay Area of California.
“Mitch was all about service and that’s what you need to know about him,” Chief Cost said.
He urged members of the MPD to be there to support Officer Winters’ friends and close coworkers.
“Be there for one another,” the chief said. “It is our strength that brings us together and makes us even stronger…our heart goes out to you, and we’re there for you as a family.”
Chief Cost noted that working in law enforcement exposes officers to “the worst of the worst of humanity,” and that he wants all members of the MPD to know they can reach out for help when they need it.
“We have an incredible peer support team and peer network for you,” he told his officers. “It’s a 24-hour-a-day mission for them and for this department to be there for one another.”
We are heartbroken over the tragic and sudden death of one of our officers, Mitchell Winters. Mitch died over the weekend in what appears to be a suicide. Mitch honorably served his country in the US Marines for 4yrs prior to becoming a police officer and serving our community. pic.twitter.com/fDQyC4XFDR
— Mesa Police Dept. (@MesaPD) November 16, 2021
Our hearts are with @MesaPD Officer Mitchell Winters family, loved ones, and his colleagues of the Mesa Police Department. We offer our support and stand with you through this tough time. #RestInPeace pic.twitter.com/QCnXFYJtLE
— Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (@mcsoaz) November 16, 2021
Our hearts go out to the family of Officer Mitchell Winters, and our partners at @MesaPD.
Fellow public safety professionals, please don't face the mental burdens of this profession alone. Reach out to your colleagues, and seek help when needed. pic.twitter.com/KkmO75KSgo
— Arizona State University Police Department (@ASUPolice) November 16, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mesa Police Department Officer Mitchell “Mitch” Winters, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.