Update 12/26/2014: Funeral services for Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell will take place at St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm. St. Peter’s Anglican Church is located at 4784 Thomasville Road in Tallahassee, Florida.
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell has died. He was 72 years old.
Sheriff Campbell was first elected in 1996 and served 18 years as Sheriff. In 2007 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and quit smoking. The cancer returned in 2013 in his left lung and bladder, and yesterday, through a statement from the Leon County Sheriffs Department, Campbell announced the cancer had come back once again.
“The discovery is very recent and details of a prognosis are still being discussed with the medical team, the Sheriff and his family," the statement read.
The Sheriff's Department says Campbell had contacted Governor Rick Scott to inform the governor of the diagnosis.
Local officials reacted to the news, with Leon County Administrator Vince Long calling Campbell a, "great man."
"He was a true public servant and a true friend. Not all County Administrators can say this about their Sheriff, but my every interaction with Larry over the last 20 years was a pleasure," Long said. "He was a tough guy, but he was as honest and fair a public official as I have ever known."
In a statement, Gov. Scott said, “Ann and I send our condolences to Sheriff Campbell’s family and the entire Leon County Sheriff’s Office over the loss of one of our state’s most devoted law enforcement heroes. As a former United States Marine, with more than 50 years of law enforcement experience, Sheriff Campbell truly dedicated his life to protecting and serving Florida families. He was also deeply passionate about encouraging his fellow law enforcement officers to join him in volunteering to better the Leon County community. We will miss Sheriff Campbell and will keep his family in our prayers during this difficult time.”
“The passing of Sheriff Larry Campbell is a great loss for our community, and for so many who will personally miss his droll sense of humor, his robust storytelling and, above all, his reverence for the job he was called to do, elected to do, and carried out with purpose and utter devotion to the men and women under his command,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Mary Ann Lindley.
Campbell's death follows that of Deputy Chris Smith, who was killed last month in an ambush.
Gov. Scott has appointed Major Robert Swearingen as Leon County Sheriff on an interim basis. Swearingen will serve as Leon County Sheriff until a permanent sheriff is appointed by the Governor.