The Kirkland Police Department announced Monday that Sgt. Nathan Rich, a 20-year veteran of the force, died Oct. 13.
According to a press release, Rich died of natural causes in his home. He is survived by his two adult children, six siblings, his mother and father.
Rich served in the department since 1998 when he was hired as a patrol officer, the release states. He was part of the SWAT team from 2001-12 and also served as a firearms instructor, a member of the honor guard and a training officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 2010 and became the traffic sergeant in 2014.
In 2015, Rich was awarded the Medal of Valor for courage in the line of duty, according to the release. He was also a former president of the Kirkland Police Guild.
Rich was also veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp and a graduate of Washington State University.
“Sgt. Rich was a shining example to the entire department,” said Police Chief Cherrie Harris. “He was larger than life, had the heart of a lion and although he was reluctant to admit it, it truly was his heart and steadfast conviction to doing what he believed to be right, which were his strongest assets. His candor, pride in service, stubbornness and gift of persuasion earned my deep respect and the respect of the entire department.”
The release states that Rich was loved not just by KPD; his spirit touched a huge part of the community and other first responders from Redmond, Bothell, Bellevue and throughout the Puget Sound region.
Details regarding Sgt. Rich’s memorial service will be available soon and will be distributed in a future release.