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JSO police academy instructor dies ‘active duty death’

Sgt. Bill Messick was an instructor at the JSO police academy.
Sgt. Bill Messick was an instructor at the JSO police academy.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A beloved Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office police academy instructor has died and his passing is being called an “active duty death,” News4Jax has learned. It does not appear to be related to COVID-19.

William Messick had been with JSO since the 1990s before retiring as a lieutenant and then joining the police academy as an instructor in 2010.

He died Monday.

His cause of death has not been released, but indications are that it was not related to coronavirus.

Colleagues and loved ones posted condolence messages on social media after learning the news, describing Messick as a supportive, positive person who made a difference in his community.

Among those who posted was current Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook, who was Messick’s superior when he joined the police academy in 2010.

She sent the following statement to News4Jax about Messick:

“Sgt Bill Messick was a larger than life man, an incredible law enforcement instructor and a devoted family man. His legacy will live on in the thousands of corrections and police recruits he trained. He will be missed.”