McAlester Police Capt. Richard Parker found deceased at home

Mar. 16—McAlester police and members of the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office were at the residence of McAlester Police Capt. Richard Parker early Thursday after Parker was found deceased in his home.

Parker, 52, served with the McAlester Police Department for 26 years. Prior to joining MPD, Parker served as a Pittsburg County Sheriff's deputy.

McAlester Police Chief Kevin Hearod said a MPD officer went to Parker's home in the Tannehill area after Parker did not report for his 6:50 a.m. shift Thursday morning.

"He didn't show up and he didn't call in," Hearod said. "That's not like him."

Parkers' teenaged son was staying with his father over spring break, Hearod said. When the McAlester police officer arrived at the home, Parker's son answered the door.

The officer asked the son to wake up his father. The son found his father unresponsive in his bed when he went to try and wake him, Hearod said.

An ambulance and law enforcement officers were immediately called to the home. Hearod said Parker was pronounced dead at the scene. Since it is considered an unattended death, the state Medical Examiner's office was contacted and police were awaiting the medical examiner's arrival Thursday morning.

Hearod, who was at the scene, said there was no sign of foul play or violence. He said Parker appeared to be resting peacefully on his pillow.

MPD released a statement regarding Parker and his service to the community.

"It is with great sadness that the McAlester Police Department announces the sudden loss of Captain Richard Parker. Captain Parker served the citizens of McAlester for over 26 years," the statement reads.

"He truly understood his role to protect and serve our community and cared deeply for the citizens of McAlester and his fellow law enforcement officers," the statement continues.

"Captain Parker will be greatly missed by those who have had the pleasure of knowing him. We ask that you keep Captain Parker's family, friends, and community in your thoughts as they grieve this great loss."

As police captain, Parker served as shift commander of the MPD daytime shift.

Hearod said he and Parker both came on board at the McAlester Police Department around the same time.

"I started in '95 and he started. in '96," Hearod said.

Parker would have served 27 years with the McAlester Police Department this July, Hearod said. He said Parker recently told him he would like to serve for another five years before retiring.

In addition to his regular duties, Parker served as a firearms instructor for MPD and also served as the force's armorer, the officer who took care of the guns. He would also work overtime for special projects, such as highway safety projects.

"He loved to hunt and he loved to go on cruises with his kids," Hearod said. "He loved his job and he loved his kids.

"He was what you wanted in a cop. He was a solid officer and a solid dad."