‘Joe selflessly served’: Suffolk sergeant dies Monday after 14 years on force

Suffolk

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Suffolk Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its sergeants who had been with the department for more than a decade.

Suffolk Sgt. Joe Rivera died Monday, Suffolk police wrote in an announcement on Facebook.

According to an online fundraiser for Rivera, the sergeant was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 21.

He was on a ventilator in critical condition while receiving treatment at the University of Virginia hospital, according to the GoFundMe.

The GoFundMe’s $10,000 goal had already been surpassed by more than $3,600 by Tuesday night — just two days after the fundraising account was opened.

“Our deepest condolences go out to Joe’s wife, family, colleagues, and friends during this difficult time. Joe’s passing is a loss for not only our Suffolk Police Department family, but for the City of Suffolk and the citizens whom Joe selflessly served,” the department wrote.

Rivera was with the department since 2007. He was an operator on the Suffolk Police Department SWAT Team as well as a member of the Honor Guard and Neighborhood Enforcement Team. He spent time training numerous recruits.

Rivera was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, trained dogs and enjoyed playing music. He was family-oriented and loved his wife, Pam, dearly, the police department said.

The Suffolk Police Department will be shrouding officers’ badges until sunset on the day Rivera is laid to rest.

“Sergeant Rivera, we thank you for your service. Rest in peace and may God welcome you home,” Suffolk police wrote Tuesday.

The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office, Windsor Police Department, Suffolk Fire and Rescue, and the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office assisted in bringing Rivera home after his death.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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