New Jersey Officer Dies from Coronavirus
On April 24, 2020, the Bloomingdale Police Department, of New Jersey, lost one of their officers to complications resulting from coronavirus. Patrolman Gary Walker, age 53, contracted the virus in late March while on the job. He had been in a coma for 30 days.
Officer Gary Walker was well known in the community and well-loved. He was remembered as selfless and caring by those who knew him and worked with him.
Walker spent his life serving his community. He spent several years as a Class II Special Police Officer for the Haledon Police Department. Walker then joined the Bloomingdale Police Department in 2000 as a patrolman. After serving for over 20 years, he had become a delegate to the Policemen’s Benevolent Association.
While working as a police officer, he continued to do more by becoming a volunteer fireman. His volunteer work had begun in 1989. He had been serving with the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department. At the time of his passing, he was the assistant chief of the department.
Bloomingdale Police Department
Walker spent twenty years serving with the Bloomingdale Police Department. "Service is their commitment, Honor, and Integrity, our mandate." The department posts their history, stating that their first police officer, Auburn Taylor, was appointed in 1914. His job was to patrol the streets in plain clothes in the evening hours.
Today, it is still a small department. Losing any officer will deeply impact all the remaining officers on the force. After all, they are family. The office is mourning the loss of Patrolman Walker and the value he provided the community.
Oakland Volunteer Fire Department
Since 1989, Walker has volunteered with the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department. The Oakland Volunteer Fire Department in New Jersey also has a long history in the state of New Jersey. According to their web page, they have been "volunteering for our Community for over 105 years.” In honor of Asst. Chief Walker, a tribute video was posted.
Honoring a Hero
His wife and one child survive patrolman Gary Walker.
The police department posted a comment regarding Walker’s passing and their thoughts for family and community. “Officer Walker will be truly missed by his BPD family, all those who served within municipal departments around him and our Borough residents he so deeply touched with his extremely unique sense of humor and unwavering dedication to duty.”
Walker had been in a coma for 30 days before his passing. The Bloomingdale Police Department witnessed the excellent care that Walker had received while hospitalized. The department has posted a thank you to first responders and families who work so hard to care for others who are sick with the virus. “For all who have contracted Coronavirus, or those who unselfishly continue to care for those needing care in the hospital or at home, we pray for enduring care and healing.”
The Oakland Volunteer Fire Department posted a comment on Facebook to Walker for all to see. “Gary, you fought one hell of a fight against this horrible virus. To say you will truly be missed is an understatement."