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SUNSET HILLS, Mo. — Sunset Hills police officer Christy Meier died suddenly Friday morning after working an overnight shift at the department. She was 47.

“It was a complete shock,” Sunset Hills Police Chief Stephen Dodge said.

Dodge said it was a normal overnight shift for Meier. She clocked into work at 7 p.m. Thursday and left around 7 a.m. Friday. 

 “She went home, and saw her husband, and went to sleep,” said Dodge. “(She) went to bed, and he went to work, and when he came home, he found her. Christy has always been very healthy, vibrant, and to get that phone call is…It’s one of your worst nightmares as a chief to find out one of your officers has passed away.”

Meier leaves behind a husband, two children, and grandchildren. Dodge said she loved her family, playing bingo, and fishing with her husband.

“She’s cruising along, healthy as can be, and then next thing you know, out of nowhere,” Dodge said.

The family and department are awaiting autopsy results.

Meier had been a police officer for 14 years. She spent the last seven with Sunset Hills Police Department. Before that, she was with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department from 2007 to 2013.

“During Christy Meier’s seven years of service to our community, we received numerous compliments from citizens for her compassion and caring attitude,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak. “More important than her work, however, was that she shared her love with her children, family, and friends.”

Dodge said Meier was a brave officer who received multiple awards for her heroism. He recalled the time she responded to a fiery car crash and helped pull victims out of the burning car.

“She was a very highly-decorated police officer, loved the community she served, very outgoing,” said Dodge. “She was the type of officer who didn’t just drive through your neighborhood but stopped to say hi and strike up a conversation with you.”

Dodge said since the Sunset Hills Police Department is small, it’s hard on the officers. He said a counseling team is available for officers in the department.

“The Sunset Hills Police Department is hurting right now,” he said. “Her family is hurting right now. So, if you can keep my officers and her friends and family in your thoughts and prayers, it would be appreciated.”

Officers in the department are wearing black mourning bands on their badges, and there is black bunting outside of the department to honor a life taken too soon. 

Dodge said BackStoppers will present Meier’s family with a $10,000 check.

The Sunset Hills Police Department has also set up a GoFundMe page for Meier’s family.