MILWAUKEE-- A former Milwaukee police lieutenant who dedicated his life to public service passed away from complications of the coronavirus this week, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. The 69-year-old was also suffering from other underlying health conditions.
Lenard Wells was a fixture at the Milwaukee Police Department for 27 years, retiring as a lieutenant in the early 2000s.
His contributions continue to be recognized throughout the department. Andra Williams will never forget about working with Lieutenant Wells.
“He’s one of those unsung heroes that really had a humongous impact on officers on the Milwaukee Police Department,” Williams said.
Williams recalls Lieutenant Wells being a mentor and leader to younger officers.
“When I came on you know you’re always looking for some type of safety line, someone who could help you and for other officers, that’s what he did,” Williams said.
Congresswoman Gwen Moore called his death a major loss for the community.
“He was the kind of cop you didn’t mind having in your house without a search warrant,” Moore said.
She remembers when Wells was appointed the Chair of the State Parole Commission.
“We knew that he would be fair and compassionate,” Moore said.
Wells then turned to teaching, most recently as a criminal justice professor at the University of Memphis.
School officials released a statement saying in part that Wells was dedicated “to the implantation of knowledge and providing guidance to his students regarding their future careers and life.”
Friends and family said that the legacy of
“I think it will bring awareness and hopefully will have a larger impact on the community,” Williams said.
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas released the following statement on the death of Lenard Wells.
“I am saddened by the passing of Dr. Lenard Wells, or Lenny as he was affectionately known. Lenny is one of those people who many, if they had the opportunity, would say, “there’s no me, without you.” Much of the progress in law enforcement by people of color and women can be attributed to the sheer force of his personality. Lenny spoke truth to power in ways only few people could, and he even showed compassion for those who displayed little or no concern for others. He was a force to be reckoned with who kindled the fire in me and others to continue to persevere through the struggle and the storm. He made lasting contributions to the law enforcement community in Milwaukee that will forever be remembered by generations to come. I send my deepest condolences to his loving wife, Corene and his family and all those who treasure his memory. May a star guide him home safely to his heavenly reward.”