ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - St. Paul police are mourning the loss of a longtime member of the force.
Benny Williams, a beloved officer who most recently served as the mayor's guard, died Monday after falling ill.
Williams, a St. Paul native, worked for the city's police department for more than 25 years.
“He really had a positive energy about him. He looked for the silver lining and he brought positivity to work, to the investigations he did helping connect families who had missing persons,” St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said. “He did a long time on the job. He left an indelible mark on our entire community.”
Axtell said in his 27 years with the department, Williams was a beacon of positivity for his fellow officers and the community.
"He worked the Twin Cities Marathon every year and the corners he worked on - the high fives, the hugs, the encouragement. He was a coach. He was a mentor. He was a teacher. He really impacted the lives and motivated people he came into contact with."
Since 2018, Williams had been handling security for St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. Before that, he worked as a community liaison officer and in the Missing Persons Unit.
In a statement, Mayor Carter said, “Benny Williams was a caring family person, a born protector committed to serving everyone in our community, and above all, a constant presence for good in St. Paul.”
In addition to his police family, Williams leaves behind a wife and two adult daughters.