Celebrity Death

How Did Melvin C. High Die? Prince George’s Police Chief, Cause of Death Explained


Melvin C. High, the 12 years-long sheriff of Prince George’s County after serving as its police chief, passed away at the age of 78.

Cause of Death

The sheriff’s office said High was feeling ill and checked into Washington Hospital Center. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at an area hospital on Thursday. His cause of death was not revealed. In a statement, previous chief assistant sheriff and now current Prince George’s County Sheriff Darrin C. Palmer said High was “dearly loved” and “respected.”


County officials held a news conference Thursday to announce his passing.

Who was

Melvin C. High is chief of police, Born in Union County, Mississippi, on September 5, 1944. Tennessee State University, B.S. (biology), 1966. Southeastern University, M.B.P.A. (business & public administration), 1980. Served in U.S. Marine Corps., 1967-69. Public Safety Consultant, Police Performance Solutions, LLC, 2008-10. Member, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives; International Association of Chiefs of Police, 1985-2008; Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, 1993-2003; Hampton Roads Association of Chiefs of Police, 1993-2003; Maryland Association of Chiefs of Police, 2003-08; Prince George’s County Police Chiefs Association, 2003-08.


Melvin High Career

Melvin C. High began his career as a police officer in Washington, D.C., where he eventually ascended to the position of assistant chief. High assisted in the department’s diversification by hiring and guiding additional Black and female officers. Before becoming police chief in Prince George’s, he was head of the Norfolk Police Department. He is recognized for leading the department through a difficult period and reforming it since it was subject to a federal consent decree. He had been the county’s police chief for five years before to becoming sheriff, making him a familiar figure in the area’s law enforcement.

Chief of Police, Prince George’s County, 2003-08. Member, Public Safety Pension Committee, Prince George’s County, 2003-08. Vice-Chair, Police Chiefs Subcommittee, Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, 2005-06. Member, Economic Development Corporation, Prince George’s County, 2014-

Assistant Police Chief, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, DC, 1987-93 (began as a patrol officer in 1969). Police Chief, Norfolk Police Department, Norfolk, Virginia, 1993-2003.

Palmer claimed that throughout the previous twelve years, Sheriff High modernized the sheriff’s office by emphasizing the agency’s professional development, superior training, efficient service delivery, and accountability. High was tasked with overseeing more than 300 officers in terms of safety and crime prevention after being sworn in as sheriff on December 7, 2010.

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