Newton P.D. mourning loss of lieutenant

The Newton Police Department and the Jasper County law enforcement community is mourning the loss of one of its leaders. Lt. Pat Richardson, 48, a 23-year veteran of the Newton Police Department, died Sunday afternoon.

According to a statement from Newton Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich Monday morning, Richardson was not on duty at the time of his death. He was exercising when he was struck by a heart attack.

"Lt. Richardson was an excellent leader and compassionate person. He was highly respected at the Newton Police Department as well as out in the community," Hoebelheinrich said. "Lt Richardson served in the United States Army before becoming a police officer for the City of Newton."

Richardson was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2010. A memorial service is planned for later this week. Details are not yet available.