Cheri Maples, a former Madison Police Department captain and dharma teacher in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, died on Thursday from complications following a 2016 bicycle crash. She was 64.
Maples joined police department when she was 31 after becoming “disenchanted with academia and tired of struggling to get by on a part-time teaching assistant’s salary,” Tricycle contributing editor Joan Duncan Oliver wrote in a 2009 profile.
She rose to the rank of police captain, injecting mindfulness into her profession and requiring all of the police officers in her unit to attend a three-hour training on misplaced anger and other emotional challenges.
Maples left the Madison police in 2005 after being passed over for a promotion to police chief, and went on to work in the state attorney general’s office until 2008.
The peace officer hit a van after running a stop sign in September 2016, authorities said, and was paralyzed from the chest down. She passed away after an infection, according to a post on Maples’ CaringBridge page.