EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — It’s been over a month since a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s deputy died after collapsing during a training exercise.
Sheriff Noah Robinson reacted to the news after the cause of death was released for Deputy Asson Hacker. The Vanderburgh County Coroner says it was a natural death due to “exertional sickling.” That’s a life-threatening condition for people who have the sickle cell trait.
“It was not on our radar. I was aware of sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait and I knew the trait was not as severe as sickle cell disease,” says Sheriff Robinson. “But I was as unaware, as any of our trainers, that this represented any kind of risk factor when undergoing training.”
An Evansville Police officer was also taken to the hospital during the training, but there has been no connection made to Hacker’s death.
Sheriff Robinson says that local law enforcement officers are taking steps to prevent another tragedy from happening.
“I don’t know that it could have been prevented,” he tells us. “But I do know that going forward, we will take every step possible to ensure that when someone has this trait, that we are doing everything possible to prevent an outcome like this ever occurring again.
During the press conference, Robinson also stated that it was upsetting how some people reacted on social media before Deputy Hacker’s cause of death was announced.
“The vitriol that I’ve seen – I don’t really talk about what’s on Facebook – but it struck me as really unusual to see that level of vitriol and the conspiracy laden theories that are being put out there on Facebook. It’s very distressing to hear that kind of talk.” says Sheriff Robinson.
Indiana State Police are still investigating. Sheriff Robinson says tells us his office plans to implement stricter measures to screen for sickle cell trait in future applicants.