Walker County lost a great asset to the community with the death of a long-time law enforcement officer this week, mourners said Tuesday.

Captain Larry McDugle with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office passed away Monday in Huntsville after a lengthy battle with cancer. McDugle, who was born Oct. 21, 1944, in Clarksville, worked in law enforcement for 40 years, serving both the city and the county.

“Captain McDugle was a mentor to many of us and will be greatly missed by everyone at the Walker County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Huntsville community,” The Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Please keep his family in your prayers during this difficult time.”

McDugle touched a lot of lives during his time with the Huntsville Police Department and WCSO. He began his career as a reserve officer with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in 1972 before joining HPD two years later.

McDugle worked at HPD for more than 20 years and played an integral role in the department for much of his career. Some of the policies he helped put into place are still used today.

“Larry forgot more than most people know about law enforcement,” said HPD Chief Kevin Lunsford, who was hired as a patrol officer by McDugle in 1982. “He was a great supervisor, a great police officer and an all around great man. He led by example and made sure he brought along young officers to help them reach their full potential.

“He will be deeply missed and he was definitely a great asset to the community.”

McDugle retired from HPD in 1996 and joined the WCSO as a lieutenant the following year where he helped develop new policies and procedures as an administrator.

In 2005, Sheriff Clint McRae promoted McDugle to captain where he helped obtain large amounts of grant money which helped finance improvements to the department.

McDugle was honored as the 2010 recipient of the prestigious 100 Club of Houston Lifetime Achievement Award. He was selected as one of only two recipients of the award from an 18-county region covered by the club, a non-profit organization that provides aid to the families of officers killed in the line of duty, as well as scholarships and equipment assistance for law enforcement agencies.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 14 at the Walker County Storm Shelter, located at 455 Highway 75 North. Condolences may be sent to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office at 717 FM 2821 West Huntsville, TX 77320 or e-mail to sheriff@co.walker.tx.us.