Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Joe Alvarado worked as a police trainer.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police are mourning the loss of a man who trained officers after he died from complications related to COVID-19.
The Austin Police Department confirmed the death of Joe Alvarado, who helped train officers. Police said he passed away Tuesday morning at a local hospital after he contracted the novel coronavirus.
In a statement, police wrote, “(Alvarado) was instrumental in the teaching of defensive tactics at the Austin Police Academy for many years. His passion and expertise were responsible for the safety of many generations of officers.”
Police said Alvarado worked as a civilian contract instructor at the Austin Police Department training academy. He taught defensive tactics to officers in the 1980s and 1990s, APD said. APD said the Austin Police Retiree Association made Alvarado an honorary member because of his contributions to the city’s officers.
The Austin Police Association, the local union, expressed condolences to Alvarado’s wife and son in a Facebook post Tuesday.
The post read, “For those of you who don’t know, Joe trained Austin Police Officers for years on use of force and defensive tactics. Joe was teaching De-escalation to Austin Police Officers before the word ever became popular in policing. Joe truly loved our officers and they loved him the same. We will miss Joe immensely!”
Police said Alvarado’s family are not making immediate funeral plans because of the pandemic, but the department will share more information once it becomes available.
“Please keep the Alvarado family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” police wrote in their statement.
The Austin Police Department confirmed 152 sworn officers have so far tested positive for COVID-19, and currently there are 55 off duty due to the virus. Police have not reported had any deaths from the coronavirus.