VOICE News Staff
Riverside, CA – “It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that I must announce the passing of one of our RSO family members. Deputy Terrell Young passed away this morning after a week-long battle with COVID-19,” lamented Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco Thursday morning adding, “He was the first in our Department to test positive for this virus.”
Deputy Young was a 15-year member of the department and the agency’s first to succumb to the deadly virus. “Our prayers go out to his family and friends as we suffer through this loss,” shared Bianco.
Friday morning, the department sadly announced the passing of a second officer, Deputy David Werksman, most recently assigned to Sheriff’s Administration. Werksman passed away on Thursday, April 2, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19.
Werksman began his career in 1998 and worked assignments at the Robert Presley Detention Center, Jurupa Valley Station, Hazardous Device Team, Lake Elsinore Station, and Sheriff’s Administration. He is survived by his wife and three children.
During the current health crisis and due to the nature of their work—employees of the sheriffs’ department are not able to practice social distancing to the full extent on the job.
As of Thursday, the department has acknowledged at least three deputies have tested positive for COVID-19 and several others are out sick with coronavirus symptoms.
First responders around the nation are experiencing the impact of COVID-19. In response, the National Police Foundation (Foundation) has established a dashboard and is tracking the impact the virus is having on police agencies all over the country.
According to the Foundation, police and deputy sheriffs—like other first responders everywhere—are also experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment or PPEs.
Here in California, only 55.6 percent of reporting police/sheriff departments say they have enough PPEs. The type of PPEs needed are prioritized as follows—N95 respirators, disposable gloves, eye protection and face masks.