In Memory of Correctional Officer Dudley J. Champ
Texas Corrections Hit Hard by Pandemic
Texas has been hit hard by the pandemic and is suffering the loss of many law enforcement officers. Authorities were saddened to announce another death due to COVID19. Correctional Officer Dudley J. Champ, age 58, died on Monday, August 10, 2020. It is presumed that Officer Champ contracted coronavirus after an outbreak among both staff and inmates at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility. Officer Champ spent several weeks in the intensive care unit.
Officer Champ had recently begun working for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. He had served his community as a correctional officer for the last year. Prior to his work at JCSO, Champ had worked with the Beaumont Fire Department. Champ had also given his service to his country by working as a veteran with the US Navy. A dedicated employee and protector of his community, Officer Champ also gave back with his time as an usher at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church.
Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens commented on the life, service, and loss of Officer Champ. “Officer Champ is married and has children who are deeply hurt and need our support and prayers. Officer Champ had been hospitalized and was in ICU for several weeks fighting the virus and is a real hero. Like other Corrections Officers, Officer Champ answer their call to public service daily, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty. Officer Champ continued his duties as a Corrections Officer when knowingly coming to work in an environment that has active COVID-19 virus cases would put him at risk every day. Officer Champ did this without complaint and dedication to serve his community.”
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Officer Champ chose to serve his community through his work with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. This law enforcement agency is a full-service department that provides protection, enforces the law, and offers various services to the Jefferson County, Texas residents. The department officers provide patrol, forensics, K-9 Unit, SWAT, and an Aviation Division along with many more services.
The deputies are currently working under Sheriff Zena Stephens, the first black and first female sheriff of the county, providing security for court services, house a regional crime laboratory, and an Internal Affairs unit. These same officers, like Officer Champ, provide services to the Jefferson County Correctional facility and the Jefferson County Youth Academy.
COVID Ravages Families
COVID19 has been ravaging families, with the cost being the loss of loved ones. Correctional Officer Dudley J. Champ leaves behind his wife and two children. The community he serves, along with extended family and friends, are coming together to support the family he has left behind.
The Rev. Rodell Faller of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church had a brief comment regarding Champ and how he lived. “He loved his church and being able to usher; his dad was an usher at Sacred Heart. He loved to talk to people. A former neighbor told me that mornings when trash cans were out, he always waved to the neighborhood and said ‘God bless’ and ‘I wish I could give you a bear hug.'”
Beaumont Fire District Chief Scott Wheat briefly stated his remembrances. “He was an outgoing guy, very passionate about his job, and stayed involved with the crew.”
Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens gave a brief statement about Champ. “Officer Champ, like other corrections officers, answers the call to public service daily, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty. Officer Champ continued his duties as a corrections officer, knowing that coming to work in an environment that has active COVID-19 virus cases would put him at risk every day. Officer Champ did this without complaint and with dedication to serve his community.
Along with all first responders, medical professionals, and many others, Officer Champ without hesitation proudly served his community to keep them safe from harm and are real heroes in this unsettling time.”