OTTAWA, Kan. - A deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office became ill while on duty Wednesday night and died at Ransom Memorial Hospital, the sheriff's office said Thursday.
Russel W. Geist, 28, had worked with the sheriff's office since 2005, but had become a deputy just last year, Sheriff Jeff Curry said in a news release.
The cause of death is unknown.
"It is with great sadness that the Franklin County Sheriff's Office mourns the loss of Deputy Russel Geist," Curry said. "Russel was living his dream as a law enforcement officer and was an invaluable member of this office."
Geist began his career with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office as a corrections officer in 2005. He later became shift supervisor and graduated basic jail academy on Feb. 26, 2010. Geist demonstrated character and leadership skills in this position and was promoted to deputy on Sept. 21, 2010, Curry said, noting Geist graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center as a member of the 212th basic class last May.
"Russel's contagious smile and warm personality inspired those who worked with him," Curry said. "His leadership, dedication and character were in keeping with the highest standards of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and the law enforcement profession. Russel will truly be missed by his peers, co-workers and the community."
Geist was the son of retired Ottawa Police Department Detective Rick Geist.
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