A tragic death for former officer

The apparent suicide of former Grand Junction police officer Glenn Coyne Tuesday is a tragedy on many levels.

Most importantly, he leaves behind a wife and two young children. We can only guess at the pain they are suffering and will continue to suffer for a long time to come. We join others in the community in offering our condolences to the family.

Coyne was only 35, a relatively young man. He was clearly facing a very difficult time as a result of his arrest on suspicion of sexual assault and his firing by the Grand Junction Police Department. But if he had not died, he would have had many years to overcome his recent problems and perhaps turn his seemingly troubled life into something better.

Coyne’s death was a shock to those who knew him, both inside and outside of law enforcement. It no doubt reverberated through the Grand Junction Police Department, which was already reeling from Coyne’s arrest and that of another officer on separate charges last month.

While there will probably be some second-guessing of how these cases were handled by the department, we believe interim Police Chief John Camper acted appropriately in releasing information about Coyne’s arrest immediately after he was booked into jail. He also was right in firing Coyne, since he was already on probation from an earlier incident.

Coyne’s death also means that the full account of what occurred with the alleged sexual assault may never be known, since he won’t be available to tell his side of the story. That is unfortunate for his family, the police department and the pursuit of justice.


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