LIVINGSTON, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Livingston Police Department is mourning one of their own following the passing of Chief Chuck Hale.
The 46-year-old died suddenly Tuesday night from medical complications.
On Wednesday, police and sheriff's cars lined the streets of Los Banos, Hale's longtime home, to honor him with a procession.
Hale spent most of his career at the Merced County Sheriff's Office, including a number of years investigating major crimes with the detectives unit, and most recently as a lieutenant.
"In law enforcement, we face death every day but when it's one of your own, it stings harder," said Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke.
Sheriff Vern Warnke remembers Chief Hale as a 15-year-old Explorer at the department.
He says he was bright and passionate about law enforcement.
He first served as an officer with the Dos Palos Police Department and then Newman police before returning to the sheriff's office.
Last year, Hale was named the interim police chief in Livingston, before officially becoming the city's top cop.
His swearing-in ceremony was held in September, and Hale continued to serve the community until his sudden passing.
Local leaders describe Hale as an honorable, community-orientated family man.
They say he leaves big shoes to fill and will be missed greatly by everyone he has touched in the departments he has worked for and in the community.
"Lord's got a good man standing by his side right now and we're going to miss one," said Sheriff Warnke.
Chief Hale leaves behind a wife and two children.
One is set to graduate high school in just a few of weeks.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from a previous broadcast and will be updated.
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