Flags are at half-staff in Hoopeston as the community mourns the loss of its police chief. Chief Mark Drollinger died early Thursday. He was 54. He’d been battling oral cancer for the last year.
It was just this week that businesses around Hoopeston posted signs thanking Drollinger for his service. It was exactly one year ago today – on July 6th,, 2016 – that Drollinger went through what he called a ‘’very, very complicated surgery’’ after cancer was discovered in his mouth.
Drollinger noted that he never smoked or chewed tobacco. He said he had always been afraid of dentists. But he urged people who find something unusual in their mouth to get it looked out.
Drollinger worked with the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department from 1988 until 1999. But then, he said he saw the ‘’golden opportunity’’ to be Chief of Police in his own community of Hoopeston.