In Memory of Police Officer Jeremy Martin Wilkins
On Friday, December 17, 2021, Police Officer Jeremy Martin Wilkins, badge number 662, died in the line of duty. He was a nine-year member of the Chandler Police Department in Arizona. Wilkins died due to complications from contracting COVID19 while on duty. Wilkins came into contact with a suspect that he arrested because of an open warrant. The arrest was made in the 400 block of South Arizona Avenue in Chandler. The suspect tested positive for COVID19. Officer Wilkins was 46 years old.
The coronavirus pandemic had devastated many areas of the world’s economy. Many jobs have been impacted by the virus. For law enforcement, the impact of the virus has been extensive and deadly. Certain occupations, like law enforcement, have a significantly higher risk for infections. For police, the contact with many residents throughout the day and the inability to socially distance makes the position extremely dangerous against the invisible threat.
COVID19 has become the number one cause of line of duty deaths among law enforcement everywhere. The virus has devastated many departments. Hundreds of officers have died across the US. Federal legislation was put into place to protect the families of officers. Active-duty officers who contract the virus and lose their lives are deemed ‘line-of-duty’ deaths to give full benefits to the families.
Officer Wilkins had a total of 21 years of experience as a police officer. For the past nine years, Wilkins served with the Chandler Police Department. Prior to joining the force in Chandler, Officer Wilkins had served for four years with the Prescott Valley Police Department. Wilkins also served two years with the Detroit Police Department, four years with the Chippewa Tribal Police Department, and two years with the St. Louis Police Department.
Chandler Police Department, Arizona
Officer Wilkins enjoyed serving at the Chandler Police Department. The fully-accredited law enforcement agency comprises more than 334 sworn police officers and 170 civilians. In addition, the CPD serves a large population of nearly 270,000 residents.
CPD is divided into three police sub-stations to expand its ability to meet the community’s needs. The three stations include the Main Station, Desert Breeze Substation, and the Chandler Heights Substation.
The agency’s mission is to provide a secure, safe community in which its residents can live, work, and thrive. The agency is working hard on its community policing efforts. Many departments work in this area, as law enforcement listens more closely to the community’s needs and those who live there.
Police Officer Jeremy Martin Wilkins leaves behind his wife, five children, five grandchildren, mother, and father. The Wilkins family will need to lean upon the support of family, friends, neighbors, and fellow law enforcement officers. Hundreds of residents and area law enforcement came to celebrate the life that Officer Wilkins lived. Wilkins lived by example.
The Chandler Police Department was devastated to post the tragic news. “With tremendous sadness and deep sorrow, Chief Sean Duggan and members of the Chandler Police Department inform you of the passing of Officer Jeremy Wilkins yesterday after a battle with COVID-19. Officer Wilkins was an incredible police officer that had a passion for his career and loved the community. Please take a moment to remember Jeremy and keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”
Cheri Nason shared sympathies with the family. “What a tremendous loss for us all, but especially his family-sending prayer for comfort and gratitude for sharing him with our community.”
Theresa Lindstrom, a resident, shared comfort for the community. “Thinking of his family and his work family during this time of great loss. May we all remember this loss and protect ourselves and our communities.”