New Castle community loses police chief unexpectedly, honors his legacy

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NEW CASTLE, Ind. – The New Castle community is mourning the loss of its police chief and still looking for answers on what led to his death.

New Castle Police Chief Brad Catron died Monday afternoon after experiencing health issues that began Friday night.

“It just happened so fast, everybody is kind of numb right now,” New Castle Mayor Greg York said. “Not only was he an outstanding police officer, but a good friend.”

Catron served on the New Castle Police Department for nearly 29 years and was the chief for the last six.

He’s survived by his wife and two children.

“He’s the perfect specimen of a Midwest, hometown-raised boy who lived in his community and loved his community and gave back to his community,” York said.

Catron was working a high school basketball game Friday night when he started to have health issues.

Crews rushed him to the Henry County Hospital and then medics transported him to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

Doctors treated him for heart attack symptoms and all the tests came back okay, according to York.

Catron was released from the hospital Sunday and his wife took him back to the emergency room Monday. He passed away that afternoon.

“He will be truly missed. He was a great help to us,” Christian Love Help Center Head Cook Lester Jones said.

Catron, known for volunteering his time in his hometown, was a large supporter of the Christian Love Help Center, a homeless shelter and food pantry in New Castle.

Jones said Catron planned to be at the pantry Tuesday, helping to serve meals at the agency’s Christmas dinner.

“He lived for this part of the season,” Jones said. “He was a community man. We didn’t look at him as a man in a suit. We looked at him as a person who was trying to help others and it just so happened that he wore a uniform.”

The Catron family is still working on funeral arrangements. A coroner has yet to give a cause of death for Catron.

Mayor York has appointed the New Castle Police Department's assistant chief as the interim chief until he appoints a new one in January.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office took over patrols in New Castle Monday night and Tuesday to give the police department time to heal.

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