Mourners give thousands for family of LBPD sergeant after suicide

More than 140 people have already given money to a fundraiser started for the family of a former Long Beach police sergeant who killed himself outside an LBPD substation last week.

The donation drive, started Jan. 17 by a close friend of retired Sgt. Don Campbell, had raised almost $20,000 by the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 22.

On the fundraiser page, John Mcbride wrote that, before his death, Campbell was in the middle of building an addition to the home he and his wife shared in Lakewood. Campbell also has children.

“We would like to assist his wife in finishing this project as well as help offset funeral costs,” according to Mcbride. “Anyone interested in donating funds to help us honor this man and his family will be greatly appreciated.”

Campbell, 60, shot himself in the parking lot of the LBPD’s east division substation shortly before 11 a.m. on Jan. 16, according to authorities. The coroner’s office determined his death was a suicide.

Campbell, a former gang sergeant with the LBPD, worked in construction before joining the department in 1989, according to the Long Beach Police Officers Association.

In his 28-year law enforcement career, Campbell became a well-respected member of the department who would also pitch in outside the workplace, often helping coworkers with their own construction projects, according to the association.

Campbell retired from the department in 2017 after winning multiple awards for heroism while on the job.

In 2002, he helped resolve a hostage situation and in 2000, he shot and killed a man who was pointing a gun at people on a Blue Line train, according to the Press-Telegram.

“Don by far was the toughest smartest guy that ever wore a badge,” Mcbride said on the fundraiser page.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram.