Newtown, PA – Newtown Police Department (NPD) Sergeant Clinton Cunningham, 37, died on Monday, after he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage during his Sunday workout.
Sgt. Cunningham, a married father of four, collapsed inside the Ellis Athletic Center, and never regained consciousness, NPD Chief Christopher Lunn told The Delaware County Daily Times.
“People in the gym started CPR, and responding officers took over,” Chief Lunn said. “Everyone thought he had a heart attack.”
“He was a great police officer but he was an even better person,” the chief said. “He was the most well-respected officer we have in the department.”
Sgt. Cunningham, a “highly decorated” five-year-veteran of the NPD, was named Officer of the Year by his peers just a week before his unexpected death, the department said in a Facebook post.
His fellow officers described him as a “hard-working” man who contributed to the department’s “positive organizational culture,” The Delaware County Daily Times reported.
“He is always being praised by the residents and business owners of Newtown Township for the way he conducts himself in a professional manner,” one NPD officer said.
In addition to his service with the NPD, Sgt. Cunningham also worked for the Philadelphia Police Department for nine years.
He was scheduled to be promoted to the rank of sergeant on Apr. 2 – a title that the township board of supervisors voted to posthumously bestow upon the fallen hero on Tuesday.
“He had earned it,” Chief Lunn said.
Above all else, Sgt. Cunningham loved his family, the chief noted.
He left behind his wife, Kelly, his daughters, Kerrilyn and Devon, and his sons, J.J. and Sean.
Sgt. Cunningham will be laid to rest on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Newtown Police Department Sgt. Clinton Cunningham, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.