Detroit Mounted Unit cop dies on duty of heart attack

The Detroit News

Detroit — A senior Detroit police officer died of natural causes while on duty Friday.

Sgt. Joseph Abdella, 49, suffered a massive heart attack while working at the Mounted Unit, according to a press release from the Detroit Police Department.

“Sgt. Abdella served the Detroit Police Department with dignity and honor for 21 distinguished years,” the press release stated. “His presence will be greatly missed.

“The Detroit police family stands beside Sgt. Abdella’s loved ones, as we all feel the effects of losing such a wonderful member.”

No further information was available. Detroit police officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Abdella was a former homicide investigator. He also supervised a task force of investigators responsible for cases involving multiple deaths, police-involved shootings and narcotics-related killings.

He had filed a whistle-blower lawsuit claiming he was transferred to the Mounted Unit for uncovering overtime abuse in the department’s Homicide Section. But Police Chief James Craig said a run-in with another officer precipitated the move.