Davenport police officer dies during off-duty run

A 36-year veteran of the Davenport, Iowa Police Department died of an apparent heart attack he suffered while he was running across the Centennial Bridge.

A spokesperson for the department said Sgt. Kevin Marxen was off duty Tuesday, February 18, 2014 when he went for “one of his routine ‘Bridge Runs,’ which he would start at Davenport Police Headquarters.  His usual route was to jog across the Government Bridge, go through Rock Island and return to Davenport across the Centennial Bridge.

The spokesman said Sgt. Marxen “stuck his head into 2nd Shift’s Briefing, wishing everyone a safe tour” and then left for his run just before 3 p.m.

The Scott Emergency Communication Center got a report of a person laying on the Iowa-bound walkway on the Centennial Bridge at 3:29 p.m.

First responders found Sgt. Marxen collapsed on the walkway.  EMS workers treated Sgt. Marxen at the scene and at Trinity Hospital in Rock Island, but they were not able to revive him.

“We knew him as ‘Rudy,’ named after the inspirational Notre Dame Football walk-on who personified The Four Cs:  Character, courage, contribution and commitment,” said Assistant Chief of Police Donald Schaeffer.

“No words can explain what has happened, beyond saying that it is tragic,” Schaeffer said.  “The anguish that the family, their friends and police co-workers are experiencing cannot be expressed and we ask everyone for your support and understanding.”

Sgt. Kevin Marxen was a second-shift patrol supervisor and had 20 years of experience serving in more than 750 operations on the department’s Emergency Services Team.   That duty included dignitary protection for a visit from President Barack Obama, as well as coordinating training for the Quad Cities SWAT School.   Sgt. Marxen was awarded the department’s Excellent Duty Bar in June 2013.

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