- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A longtime Fargo police officer known for his work in community and media relations died Tuesday morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials announced at a news conference.

Officials said Lt. Jeff Skuza called police dispatchers at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday and asked them to send officers to the Holy Cross Cemetery south of Fargo, where his body was discovered.

“Today was a bad day for the police department,” Police Chief Keith Ternes said, fighting back tears.

No further details on Skuza’s death were released.

Skuza joined the force as a patrol officer in October 1991. He was promoted to sergeant in January 2001 and lieutenant in March 2011. He worked in many areas, including training, investigations, patrol and public information.

Fargo’s mayor and deputy mayor spoke at Tuesday’s news conference and several uniformed police officers were in attendance. Ternes said a crisis intervention team had been made available to help employees with counseling and other needs. Skuza helped with the formation of that team, Ternes said.

The police department, which currently has 179 employees, has not lost an officer in the line of duty, Ternes said.

Ternes said Skuza is survived by his wife and two children.

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