Former police chief dies

December 04, 2000

Former police chief dies

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Local law enforcement officials were shocked Monday over the sudden death of former Shepherdstown Police Chief Cecil Arnold.

Arnold, a well-liked officer who was remembered for his honesty and integrity, had talked with several of his friends last week and appeared to be fine.

Sunday night, Arnold woke up at his house on Shepherd Grade Road complaining of severe head pain, said Shepherdstown Fire Chief Leon Catrow.

A few moments later, Arnold became unconscious, Catrow said.

Arnold, 55, served as Shepherdstown police chief for about three years before Charles Cole took over the job in December 1998.


Arnold took the police chief job after retiring from the Arlington County Police Department in Arlington, Va., local police officers said.

Arnold was also a longtime member of the Shepherdstown Fire Department, putting in about 35 years and also serving as the president for about three years, Catrow said.

After leaving the Shepherdstown Police Department, Arnold worked as a bailiff at Jefferson County Magistrate Court in Charles Town, W.Va.

In his spare time, Arnold made hand-crafted wooden bowls that he sometimes sold at craft fairs, said Catrow.

"In fact, he was just putting up a new shop to work in," Catrow said.

Among Arnold's skills was his ability to communicate well with people, which benefited Arnold whether he was working on a criminal case or dealing with town officials, said Charles Town Police Chief Mike Aldridge.

"I'm just sick about it," Aldridge said of Arnold's death. "He is one of the truest gentlemen I've ever met."

Aldridge said Arnold's death followed the death of another former local police officer, Douglas Dennison Jr., who worked for the Charles Town Police Department for nine years.

Dennison died Saturday.

"This isn't a good day," said Aldridge.

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