‘Honor his memory’: Austin police officer dies of COVID-19

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Senior Officer Randolph “Randy” Boyd has died of COVID-19 after battling the virus for the past several days, said the Austin Police Association.

APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon offered his condolences Wednesday, saying in part:

“Randy was a great officer who gave everything he had for a life of service. He joined Austin Police in 2014 and served on patrol for the length of his APD career. Keep Randy and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Honor his memory by taking precautions to stay safe.”

APD Chief Joseph Chacon

“Our sincere condolences to the Boyd family, his friends, and working colleagues,” said a Facebook post written by the association’s President Ken Casaday. “His service to our department and community will be forever be remembered.”

Boyd was a husband and father of twin boys.

“He would always have a huge smile on his face and was a very friendly person,” Casaday said in a later interview with KXAN.

Casaday worked with Boyd at one point during his seven-year run with the Austin Police Department. Casaday said the sting of his death is being felt by the entire APD family.

“They’ve become so choked up they can’t even talk about it,” he said.

Casaday said he doesn’t know if Boyd was vaccinated but believes Boyd got the virus on the job.

“If officers have been at work and test positive for COVID, by state law and city policy, workers comp takes over, and he will receive benefits from the city,” Casaday explained.

Since December 2020, APD has offered officers vaccinations against the virus, although the Austin Police Association said in April only about 49% of officers were vaccinated. That number didn’t include officers who may have been vaccinated elsewhere, however. Casaday added many officers wear masks for protection.

COVID-19 vaccines are not required for officers with APD.

APD did not provide information about how many officers are currently diagnosed with COVID-19, but this new delta variant surge is taking a great toll on an already strained department.

“We have 40 officers that are out of work and eight civilians, we have officers that are on ventilators now, not doing well,” Casaday said.

Austin Cops for Charities will be starting a fundraising campaign on behalf of Boyd’s family, according to Casaday’s post, and they’ll be teaming up with Peer Support to help as well.

On Wednesday afternoon, Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a statement, saying: “I am saddened by the death of Austin Senior Patrol Officer Randolph Boyd. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Officer Boyd is the first Austin police officer to die from the virus, but the news that he was one of two officers hospitalized and among dozens more are on leave because of their illness is deeply concerning to me. We will continue to evaluate all available options and resources to keep our employees safe.”

We are waiting to hear word on Boyd’s funeral arrangements.

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