2nd Austin police officer dies from COVID-19 in as many days

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Another officer with the Austin Police Department has died after a battle with COVID-19, the department confirmed Thursday.

Police said the officer’s name is Senior Sgt. Steve Urias.

APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon said on social media Urias served with the department for more than 31 years and was close to retirement. Chacon called him a “wonderful officer, husband, father & friend” and said he had two adult children.

“Today, Senior Sergeant Steve Urias lost his battle with COVID-19, and passed away while fighting the good fight. This is the 2nd line of duty death from COVID in as many days with our department, and frankly, it is hard for me to express my grief,” Chacon said on Twitter.

This is the second APD officer death in as many days. Senior Officer Randolph “Randy” Boyd died on Wednesday from the virus. He had been with the department since 2014.

In a statement Wednesday, Interim Chief Chacon called Boyd “a great officer who gave everything he had for a life of service.”

Police also shared the department has 41 officers out right now due to COVID-19, and three are currently hospitalized.

Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday told KXAN in an interview Wednesday how serious some officers’ conditions are right now.

“We have officers that are on ventilators now, not doing well,” Casaday said on Wednesday.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler on Wednesday said the city is evaluating options and resources to keep officers safe while working. He offered his condolences to Sgt. Urias’ family and to all of APD Thursday, saying “COVID is an equal opportunity killer. It doesn’t care if you’re a hero or if you’re physically strong. Police officers are in harm’s way every day, but the virus makes interactions even riskier.”

Chacon also emphasized safety for not just officers, but for the entire community, saying, “I have to take a moment to remind everyone to take all precautions to keep yourself safe and to keep the virus from spreading.”

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