May 15, 2020
Charles "Rob" Roberts lost his life after a brief battle with the novel coronavirus.
A community in New Jersey has been left saddened after an officer from the Glen Ridge Police Department died from COVID-19 complications at the age of 45.
According to the press release from the Glen Ridge Police Department Chief, Sheila Byron-Lagattuta, the officer had been hospitalized at Lenox Hill Hospital for about three weeks before he passed on. Through the statement, which was released via Facebook, Sheila noted that:
"Officer Roberts worked tirelessly at keeping our community safe and I can say with certainty that he was known by face or name by both children and adults."
People added that the late officer joined the police department in 2000 following his decision to settle down in Glen Ridge with his wife, Alice, and their three children. A GoFundMe, which was subsequently set up to help support his family, has raised about $151,496.
The Chicago Police Department suffered a loss when Police Officer Marco DiFranco, Sergeant Clifford W. Martin, Sr. and Police Officer Ronald Newman passed away from COVID-19.
While noting that Charles was the 12th New Jersey police officer to die from the novel coronavirus, NY Post reported that his passing marked the first line-of-duty death in the department's 125-year history.
The site also noted that Sheila stated that his death "has extinguished the presence of a pillar and staple within the law enforcement community and the Borough of Glen Ridge."
The police chief ended the statement by asking people to keep the family he left behind in their prayers as the memory of Charles would never be forgotten.
Other first responders, who have died in the line of duty, according to Officer Down Memorial Page, include Patrolman Gary Walker from the Bloomingdale Police Department and Detective Alex Ruperto from the Union City Police Department.
The list continues with Corrections Officer Coy D. Coffman, Jr., Corrections Officer V James D. Coleman, Corrections Officer V Jonathon Keith Goodman, and Chaplain II Akbar N. Shabazz.
There are also Corrections Officer IV Kelvin D. Wilcher – all from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – have also died due to the virus.