In Memory of Sergeant Ernest Quintero
On Monday, July 6, 2020, Sergeant Ernest Quintero died due to complications of COVID19. A Deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Quintero is one of the hundreds of law enforcement officers whose lives have been lost to this terrible pandemic. COVID19 has become the number one killer of law enforcement in the line of duty.
Sergeant Quintero, badge S1131, most likely contracted the virus through his work with the Court Security Division in Pheonix. Law enforcement is one of the occupations with the highest rate of transmission of the virus. Officers cannot always socially distance themselves while protecting the community.
Quintero had served his community as a law enforcement officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for more than 25 years. The fifty-year-old officer was a veteran and leader in the department. Quintero’s touched hundreds of lives throughout his career.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office employed Deputy Ruiz for the past three years. MCSO was initiated in 1871. The agency has more than 3,300 employees and runs on an annual budget of $404 million. The jurisdiction of the agency covers more than 9,224 square properties. Deputies provide primary law enforcement service to more than 4.3 million residents.
The department provides patrols for Maricopa County, the fourth largest county in the state of Arizona. The department is divided into six districts and has several specialty units. For example, the MCSO has Lake Patrol, Trails Division, Aviation Division, K9 Unit, and the M109 Howitzer group. The M109 Howitzer is a self-propelled gun that resembles a tank. The Arizona National Guard gave the department its M109 but had to rescind its use later.
Sergeant Ernest Quintero leaves behind his fiancé, two children, and stepdaughter. Hundreds of residents lined the streets as Sgt. Quintero was escorted to his final resting place. Officers from all around the area, friends, neighbors, and the many residents who were touched by the life of Quintero attended the ceremony.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was devastated by the loss and posted details for residents on its Facebook page. “The MCSO family mourns the passing of Law Enforcement Sergeant Ernie Quintero, a 25-year veteran, and Detention Officer Kevin Fletcher, a 15-year-veteran, on Monday, July 06, 2020. Sgt. Quintero’s current assignment was at the Court Security Division, and Officer Fletcher’s assignment was at the 4th Ave. Jail. Sheriff Penzone and everyone at the Sheriff’s Office extends our deepest sympathy to the Quintero and Fletcher families for their loss. MCSO will forever be in gratitude for Sergeant Quintero’s and Officer Fletcher’s service and contributions to the agency and our community. Our hearts are heavy today.”
Resident Diana Ochoa shared her sympathies for the loss of Sgt. Quintero. “Ernie, thank you so much for your service and support over the years. You always had our backs no matter how late it got and no matter how tired you were. Truly a great guy, and I am thankful we got to work with you. On behalf of the Ochoa family, we extend our deepest condolences to the Quintero family at this time. You will definitely be missed; RIP.”