THE Tweed has lost one of its heroes and a young family must now continue without a father and husband after police confirmed the sudden death this week of Detective Chief Inspector Darren Steel.
The 53-year-old officer's death, although not suspicious, was unexpected and has left a community grieving.
Tweed Byron LAC Superintendent Wayne Starling paid tribute to his colleague and friend and said the event had left the command in shock.
"His fellow police will greatly miss Darren," Supt Starling said.
"He was an outstanding police officer who cared for the welfare of the community he served."
A NSW police funeral with full honours is planned for next Tuesday at Melaleuca Station Memorial Gardens at Chinderah.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said he was saddened by the event but praised the efforts of an officer who dedicated 33 years of his life to his duties and never once took a sick day.
"I worked with him for many years and always found him a fine, upstanding officer, deeply committed and dedicated to the wider Tweed community," Mr Provest said.
"I was very shocked and saddened by what happened and my thoughts and my sympathies go out to his family and friends."
Det Ch Insp Steel will be remembered and celebrated by his wife and two children.
He served New South Wales Police in regions that include Moree, Tamworth and the Tweed Byron Local Area Command.
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