NEW ORLEANS — A longtime, well-respected and beloved New Orleans Commander died Monday night after a battle with kidney cancer. The announcement of his death came hours after it was announced that he was retiring from the force after a 22-year career.

Doug Eckert joined the NOPD in 1997 and made his way through the ranks, becoming a sergeant in 2002, a lieutenant in 2012 and commander of the Second District in 2014.

“I cannot say enough about the outstanding career Commander Doug Eckert has had in the NOPD,” said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson. “He has been a trusted friend, mentor, peer and exceptional professional throughout his law enforcement career. He has served the City of New Orleans and its residents with honor, dignity and respect. Even in his final days with the department, Doug’s passion and dedication for the job were on display. He is the epitome of what it means to be a law enforcement officer. We wish him the absolute best.”

According to the New Orleans Advocate, Eckert had been encouraged by friends to consider retiring after his cancer diagnosis, but he elected to stay on the job. 

“All he wanted to be was a New Orleans policeman, and he had the drive to make a difference,” Eckert’s brother, Darryl Eckert, said Tuesday to the Advocate. “For every man who puts the uniform on, he should be their inspiration to put their right foot forward.”