On Sunday, April 5th, we sadly lost two police officers. One of the reported deaths was attributed to COVID-19, while the other was simply cited as an unexpected passing. Let’s take some time to pay respects to these fallen heroes.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lt. Jimmy Walker from the Philadelphia Police Department had reportedly lost the battle against COVID-19. Mayor Jim Kenney announced the death of the 59-year-old officer the day after he passed away.
The City of Philadelphia mourns the loss of one of our own today due to COVID-19.
Lt. Jimmy Walker of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Traffic Division passed away on Sunday. Our condolences are with his loved ones and @PhillyPolice during this tragic time. pic.twitter.com/R19wpYLPuH
— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) April 6, 2020
While speaking about the department’s loss of Lt. Walker, Mayor Kenney was more saddened that a proper service cannot be held due to the pandemic that robbed this officer’s life:
“This weekend, we lost a friend, a colleague, a family member, and a hero. We lost Lt. Jimmy Walker of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Traffic Division.
The pain for Lt. Walker’s brothers and sisters on the force is compounded by their recent loss of Sgt. James O’Connor — another life that could not be mourned fully due to the restrictions surrounding COVID-19.”
Everyone at the U.S. Attorney's Office mourns the loss of Philadelphia Police Lt. James Walker, who died yesterday from the coronavirus. Lt. Walker was a three-decade veteran of the Department. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
— US Attorney William M. McSwain (@USAttyMcSwain) April 6, 2020
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke noted the following about Lt. Walker:
“The death of a Philadelphia police officer as a result of COVID-19 is deeply saddening to all Philadelphians. Lieutenant Jimmy Walker served in the Police Department’s Traffic Division, and was a well-respected and well-liked member of the department.”
The PPD stated that Lt. Walker was set to retire from the department in December of this year.
During his career in law enforcement that spanned three decades, he’d worked in I.A., narcotics, and was last stationed as a member of the traffic division.
What is uncertain at the time is how Lt. Walker contracted the virus reported as causing his death. Mayor Kenney touched on that topic while expressing condolences:
“We are unsure how and where Lt. Walker contracted the coronavirus, but we will continue to do all we can to protect the men and women serving on the front lines.”
After Lt. Walker’s near-33-years on the force and being on the brink of retirement, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw described his passing as being “deeply painful”:
“The loss of his life illustrates the commitment that he and members of the Philadelphia Police Department have to serve the communities of this city, even in times of unprecedented risk and challenge.”
City officials are working to see if Lt. Walker’s passing can be classified as a line of duty death. The fallen hero is survived by his wife, daughter, and grandchildren.
In College Station, Texas, Sgt. Hector Camarillo from the Madisonville Police Department was said to have passed away in his home on April 5th.
There weren’t any details revealed as to what may have caused this officer to pass away unexpectedly.
The release, which was done via Facebook, stated the following:
“The City of Madisonville, Texas Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its Officers this morning. Veteran Sgt. Hector Camarillo passed away on Sunday April 5th at his home in College Station, Texas. We ask for your prayers for his family and his law enforcement family. Sgt. Camarillo will be deeply missed.”
Update: Police Chief says cause of death is unknown. An autopsy is being requested.
— Rusty Surette (@KBTXRusty) April 6, 2020
An autopsy is scheduled to understand what may have taken the life of this officer.
We at Law Enforcement Today would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of both of these officers. We’ll keep them in our prayers and hope solace can be found among those most affected by these losses.
We’d also recently reported on the loss of a sheriff’s sergeant based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Unfortunately, this passing was from the ongoing crisis of COVID-19.
— Major County Sheriffs of America (@MCSheriffs) April 5, 2020
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office delivered a press release regarding the death of Sgt. Gregory Warren.
The 53-year-old sergeant was a supervisor within the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff Gautreaux. The sergeant passed away on April 5th, 2020.
From the sheriff’s press release online, Sgt. Warren had spent some time away from work, but then suddenly fell ill shortly before he was scheduled to return to work after taking some time off.
A 26-year veteran of the department, Sheriff Gautreaux not only acknowledged his dedication to the department, but also to his country:
“I am grateful for his more than 26 years of service with the EBR Sheriff’s Office and for his service to our country as a United States Marine. He was a dedicated public servant and will be greatly missed.”
PRAYERS! @EBRSheriff is mourning the loss of one of its own due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sheriff Sid Gautreaux released a statement on Facebook that Sgt. Gregory Warren, 53, died Sunday, April 5 from COVID-19 and pneumonia complications. @WAFB https://t.co/6IilKpNYZ2 pic.twitter.com/vK7cYsXtLU
— Lester Duhé (@LesterDuhe) April 5, 2020
Sheriff Gautreaux noted on the devastating loss not only to the department, but to this career-man’s family:
“My heart breaks for his wife Carol, his children, his coworkers and all of those that loved him. Please remember his family in your prayers.”
We see, far too often, departments lose good men and women from any number of incidents. Yet, it’s obvious that this hit home for the sheriff, calling out his fallen sergeant’s wife by name.
A sentiment nearly anyone can understand if they’ve ever built a strong rapport with a colleague, supervisor, or subordinate.
The sheriff noted that now is the time to employ greater personal-protective measures while policing. It may not be easy, but as evidenced, it can be fatal if not adhered to:
“We are all in a period of uncertainty and challenge in dealing with this national pandemic. The safety and health of every member of our community is something I work and pray for daily. I’ve asked all of our deputies to please take all necessary precautions and use all available equipment and resources to protect themselves not only at work, but any time they must be out in the community.”
While Sheriff Gautreaux never eluded to the time he knew Sgt. Warren, keep in mind that Sgt. Warren had been with the department for 26 years and Sheriff Gautreaux was sworn in to his role in 2007. That’s 13 years knowing this fallen hero.
That loss doesn’t come easy, nor without heartache.
Sheriff Gautreaux delivered some solemn words to those first responders dealing with these uncertain times:
“I am so grateful to all of our first responders and health-care professionals for their hard work and commitment during what are troubling times for all of us. May God bless and protect each of you.”
Rest in Peace Sgt. Gregory Warren. Sgt. Warren was a supervisor in EBRSO Transportation. He passed away this morning from COVID-19 and pneumonia-related complications. Sgt. Warren was 53-years-old. Keeping his family, friends and @EBRSheriff colleagues in my prayers. @WAFB pic.twitter.com/DFsYlDf1Ds
— lizkohTV (@lizkohTV) April 5, 2020
Rest easy Sgt. Gregory Warren. You served your community well for over a quarter century, and were robbed of your golden years during this horrible period of the pandemic. Our hearts pour out to the family and loved ones of this hero.
To all of our first responders out there, please be safe.
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