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Death of Jonesboro officer during training under investigation

Arkansas State Police are conducting a criminal investigation after a Jonesboro police officer died at a training exercise at Camp Robinson.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The death of a Jonesboro police officer is being investigated after he reportedly had symptoms of "medical distress" before a training drill.

Vincent Parks, a patrolman for the Jonesboro Police Department, arrived for training at Camp Robinson to participate in physical training around 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, according to the Arkansas State Police.

Department of Public Safety Secretary Jami Cook told state police that the 38-year-old was "extracted" from the class formation that began at 1:30 p.m. when the reported medical distress began. Oxygen was provided to him.

Parks was reportedly able to walk to an ambulance but was "stricken by cardiac arrest" once inside the ambulance, according to a press release from Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

He was pronounced dead upon reaching a nearby hospital.

RELATED: Jonesboro Police Department mourns loss of Patrolman Vincent Parks

Joe Dubois, a supervisor with the CLEST, gave state police more information, indicating "more than once" that Parks did not participate in the physical training part of the class.

Secretary Cook then asked state police on July 18 to conduct an "independent review" of what led up to Parks' death.

"The review was re-categorized as a criminal investigation based on statements contrary to the initial facts provided to Secretary Cook and subsequently provided to [us]," said Bill Sadler, public information officer for the Arkansas State Police.

He explained that it became a criminal investigation "to ensure that any possible findings of criminal culpability" wouldn't be compromised if the findings were to be shared with the prosecuting attorney.

Sadler would not comment further on the investigation until it was formally closed.

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