Special Deputy Sheriff
Douglas Warren Sanford
Hamilton County Sheriff's Department
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Age: 48
Served: 18 years, 5 months
Badge #: 3901
Panel 38E, Line 33 (2023)
Included (2022)

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Duty-related illness
Date/Time of Incident:
Sunday, November 28, 2021

Incident to Death Duration:
121 days
Incident Location:
18100 Cumberland Road, Noblesville
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
Burial Place:

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   Special Deputy Sheriff Douglas Sanford died from complications after contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during an ongoing global pandemic.

   After becoming infected while assigned to the Animal Control Division, he was hospitalized where he remained until he passed away.

   Special Deputy Sheriff Sanford, from Sheridan, was assigned as the animal control supervisor and had previously served with the Ionia County Sheriff's Office in Michigan as a reserve deputy for seven years, Indianapolis Animal Care Services as an animal control officer for three years and the Carmel Police Department as a community service specialist for two years.

   He was survived by his wife, Heather (née Wright); son, Holdan (Erlmae); daughter, Brittney (Earl); mother, Sharon; and sister, Janero (Steve) Babcock.

Historical Notes

• Special Deputy Sheriff Sanford is the third of five Indiana line of duty deaths in 2022.
• He is the first line of duty death of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department.
• His line of duty death is the fifth that has originated from Hamilton County.
As of February 1, 2024, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused 1,180,042 deaths in the United States and 26,307 deaths in Indiana. From November 2020 through January 2021, the deadliest wave was responsible for 7,140 deaths with the highest occurring in December 2020 when 3,038 died statewide. The pandemic has caused 874 known law enforcement officer deaths in the United States.

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Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

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Special Deputy Sheriff Douglas Warren Sanford - Hamilton County Sheriff's Department - INLEM.org