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Calif. police officer dies of COVID-19

Detective Marylou Armer was one of the first Santa Rosa Police Department employees to test positive for COVID-19


Detective Marylou Armer was a 20-year veteran of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Photo/Peace Officers Research Association of California

By Richard Winton
Los Angeles Times

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A Santa Rosa police detective who was among the first infected with coronavirus in the department has died, officials announced Tuesday.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a member of our SRPD family, Detective Marylou Armer. Marylou has faithfully served our community in the Santa Rosa Police Department for the past 20 years,” the department said in a statement.

The department, which memorialized the loss on its social media accounts, added: “Marylou was one of the first employees to test positive for COVID-19 and today succumbed to complications from the illness. Our hearts are with the family and Marylou will be deeply missed.”

Coronavirus is spreading in police departments nationally.

The New York police announced that 1,048 officers and 145 civilian employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. Five of the department staff have died.

Of those positive, 17 have recovered and returned to the job. As of Tuesday, 15.6% of the department’s officers are out sick.

The Los Angeles police department continues to test more of its 13,000 employees, and nearly 30 have tested positive. Four are department leaders.

Police Chief Michel Moore and his commanders have planned out scenarios in which up to 30% and perhaps even half of the department calls in sick. These are worst-case scenarios, and officials do not think it will get that bad.

Officers in many locations this week began switching to 12-hour shifts to bolster the number on patrol and to provide security at eight homeless shelters. The department has already transferred hundreds of detectives to patrol functions.

Moore said that in the last few weeks the department had entirely mobilized. Vacation days have been canceled, unnecessary assignments and operations have been put aside, and everyone has been assigned to concentrate on essential public safety functions.