Prince George's County Sheriff Melvin High talks about the importance of law enforcement during a roundtable discussion on 21st century policing at the sheriff's office in Upper Marlboro on Nov. 13. Photo by William J. Ford
**FILE** Prince George's County Sheriff Melvin High talks about the importance of law enforcement during a roundtable discussion on 21st century policing at the sheriff's office in Upper Marlboro on Nov. 13. Photo by William J. Ford

Prince George’s County Sheriff Melvin High died after checking himself into Washington Hospital Center on Thursday, according to Chief Assistant Sheriff Col. Darryl Palmer. He was 78. 

High was originally born in Union County, Mississippi in 1944 and began working in law enforcement in 1969, first in D.C. and then in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2003, he became the Prince George’s County Police chief, a role he held for five years, and was elected as county sheriff in 2010.

“For me, Sheriff High was a supporter, an adviser and a mentor. I will miss him as a colleague in law enforcement, but I know that his body of work and good deeds will live on,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a statement.

His focus as sheriff was modernizing and growing the office. One of his top accomplishments was accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

“As an educator, military veteran, law enforcement officer and community leader, the Sheriff set an example for devotion and duty that we can all follow,” said John Carr, who will be sworn in next month as Prince George’s police chief.

High is survived by his wife, a daughter and a grandson. 

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