ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- The unexpected death of Atlanta Police Officer Jamaine Chester has left his friends, colleagues and church family in a state of shock. Both APD and a church official shared how he brought the two organizations together and how his legacy will live on.
Those who knew Officer Chester will tell you there was a lot to love about him: his personality, his helpful spirit, and his infectious smile. His fellow officers are devastated by his unexpected death at just 41 years old.
"When I got the phone call, I didn't respond at all. The person that called me had to say, 'No, you heard me correctly,'" said APD Public Information Officer Sergeant John Chafee.
Hundreds of people shared their support and condolences on APD's Facebook post that pays tribute to the beloved officer. "He had so many friends close to him. There are hundreds of people that would talk to you about him," said Chafee.
Chafee said Chester's family requested a welfare check after not hearing from him. He was found dead on Sunday, March 20, 2022, and as of Thursday afternoon, there was no word on how he died.
The day before he was found, no one could have imagined it would be his last day alive. "I didn't know it was going to be our last time seeing him, and I'm thankful for that time we shared," Chafee said. "You're never gonna get another Chester."
Chester worked with APD from 2006 until 2015 as a Zone 5 officer. He returned to Zone 5 in 2019 and began working as a public affairs officer in late 2021 until his death.
Church members at Vision Cathedral ATL, where he served as a deacon, usher and security guard, are also in shock.
"When you lose someone of his character and stature, it's just hard," said Assistant Chairman of Deacons Thomas Brown-Westbrook, who described how there was a connection between Chester's work as a police officer and his service to the church. "JC showed up many Sundays with many officers in uniform just leaving work."
They're letting everyone know how to carry on his legacy. "He brought light in any place he came in, so I think what we need to do is carry that light. Don't let it end," said Brown-Westbrook.
Chester's family will hold his Homegoing Service in Mississippi this weekend. Plans are also underway to hold local memorial services, including an APD service in April.
*Note: This article was corrected to indicate Chester worked with APD from 2006 until 2015 as a Zone 5 officer. He returned to Zone 5 in 2019 and began working as a public affairs officer in late 2021 until his death.
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