UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (DC News Now) — People in Prince George’s County are mourning the loss of Sheriff Melvin High.

Sheriff High was feeling sick and checked himself into Washington Hospital Center where he passed on Thursday. He leaves behind a wife, and daughter.

“Sheriff Melvin C. High was an exceptional human being who gave everything he has in service to others. He is loved and will be deeply missed by everyone,” said now Interim Sheriff Darrin C. Palmer.

Palmer was High’s Chief Assistant Sheriff since 2010, he was associated with him for nearly 20 years. He will take over the Sheriff role until newly elected sheriff John Carr will be sworn in next month.

“I have unending respect for him, and it has been the highlight of my professional career to have worked for and with him. Sheriff High is the epitome of the law enforcement professional,” said Palmer.

Sheriff High served as the elected Sheriff for Prince George’s County for nearly 12 years. During his time he modernized the Sheriff’s Office focusing on the professional growth of the agency, and accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

“He deeply loved the agency and worked tirelessly to grow and improve it, and he sought every day to make Prince George’s County a better place. He lent his talents, not just to law enforcement, but to matters of health, education and all aspects of government,” said Palmer.

In a statement Prince George’s County State Attorney Aisha Braveboy says, “for me, Sheriff High was a supporter, an advisor and a mentor. I will miss him as a colleague in law enforcement, but I know that his body of work and good deeds will live on.”

High’s family is asking for privacy as the family grieves.