NJ assistant fire chief, police officer dies from COVID-19 complications
Oakland Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Gary Walker, who worked as a Bloomingdale police officer, died Friday after 30 days in a coma
By Laura French
OAKLAND, N.J. — A New Jersey assistant fire chief and police officer has died due to COVID-19 complications.
Oakland Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Gary Walker, 53, who worked as an officer for the Bloomingdale Police Department, died on Friday after more than three decades of public service, according to the borough of Bloomingdale.
Walker had volunteered with the fire department for 33 years and worked at the police department for 20 years. The New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association said in a statement that Walker "fought the impossible fight" against the virus and was in a coma for more than 30 days before his death.
"Officer Walker was a selfless, dedicated police officer that touched the lives of so many, he always flourished by bringing people together," the Bloomingdale Police Department said in a statement. "Most importantly, Officer Walker will be remembered most for his dedication to being a devoted husband, loving father and having a golden heart."
Walker is survived by his wife Danielle and their 12-year-old daughter Demi. A virtual prayer service was held Friday night over Facebook Live by Pastor Russell Stammer, the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department's chaplain.
"Words can't express the pain and sorrow that is felt by anyone whose life Gary touched. Gary was also a great husband to Danielle and father to Demi," the fire department said in a statement. "Anyone who knew Gary knows that Gary was truly a kid at heart. He had a personality that always made people laugh. Our love and support are with Danielle and Demi and (they) will be in our thoughts and prayers."