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‘Our hearts are heavy’: Virginia sergeant dies after 14 years of service

Sgt. Joe Rivera passed away on Monday

Sgt. Joe Rivera passed away on Monday, May 31.
Sgt. Joe Rivera passed away on Monday, May 31. (Suffolk Police Department)

A Virginia sergeant has passed away after serving the Suffolk Police Department for more than a decade.

The Suffolk Police Department took to Facebook to mourn the loss of Sgt. Joe Rivera after he passed away on Monday. His passing comes after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in April, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser.

The fundraiser, which raised over $14,000, stated that on April 21, Rivera was transferred to UVA, was on a ventilator and was in critical condition.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Sergeant Joe Rivera,” the department said in a Facebook post. “Our deepest condolences go out to Joe’s wife, family, colleagues, and friends during this difficult time.”

Rivera joined the department in 2007 and served as an operator on the Suffolk Police Department SWAT Team and as the Honor Guard and Neighborhood Enforcement Team. He was actively involved in the department and was responsible for training a myriad of new recruits.

He was also a Marine Corps veteran.

Outside of his career, Rivera was known for being family-oriented and passionate about training dogs and creating music.

“Sergeant Rivera, we thank you for your service. Rest in peace, and may God welcome you home,” the department said.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.