PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia Police Department lieutenant died Sunday from the novel coronavirus, according to city officials.
Lt. James Walker served in the department's traffic division. He is the first city employee confirmed to have died from the virus.
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City officials said Walker had been on the force for 33 years.
In a statement, Mayor Jim Kenney called Walker “a friend, a family member, a hero.” The 59-year-old died at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health, according to the Montgomery County coroner’s office.
Lt. James Walker passed away due to the coronavirus, Mayor Jim Kenney confirmed Monday.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw released the following statement:
“Losing Lieutenant James Walker to complications from Covid-19 is 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. Lt. Walker devoted nearly 33 years to serving the communities in Philadelphia. I appreciate his and other members’ commitment. With a Covid-19 surge anticipated in our area, PPD members are expected to follow protocols put in place to reduce the risk of exposure to themselves and others. With that said, we are constantly assessing our protocols and will adjust them as necessary and/or as we receive additional PPE.”
John McNesby, president of Philadelphia's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5, released a statement that said, in part:
“It’s with a heavy heart that we send our deepest condolences to this officer’s family,” McNesby said. “We should never forget the sacrifices of our officers and those on the front-lines battling this pandemic and working tirelessly to keep our great city safe.”
As of Monday afternoon, more than 12,980 Pennsylvanians have confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 162 fatlities reported.
Pennsylvania remains under a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Tom Wolf.
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