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Hero Down: Batavia Police Department Officer Joe Gudella Dies In Accident While Visiting Family Out-Of-State

Batavia, IL – Batavia Police Department (BPD) Officer Joe Gudella died unexpectedly on March 27 while visiting a family home in central Wisconsin, according to his department.

The BPD said in a press release on Tuesday that the 36-year-old officer was found deceased at the residence.

Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke said Officer Gudella’s death was accidental, but no additional details were immediately released, the Batavia Patch reported.

“It is with deepest sympathies that the Batavia Police Department announces the passing of Officer Joe Gudella,” the BPD said.

“Officer Gudella was thoughtful and compassionate, and his positivity and zeal for life were infectious. He had a servant’s heart and a passion for making people feel welcomed and loved,” the department added. “In his time with the Batavia Police Department, he made a lasting impact on his peers and the community that he served with pride. He will be sorely missed by all.”

Officer Gudella began his law enforcement career in 2015, when he joined the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

He began serving the BPD in January of 2022.

“He was somebody that really did the Batavia Police Department proud and was somebody who was always willing to be there and help and do whatever was needed to be done,” Schielke said, according to the Batavia Patch. “Joe, we’re going to miss you terribly.”

Officer Gudella leaves behind his wife of eight years, Valerie, as well as his four-year-old daughter and his one-year-old son, according to a fundraising campaign established to help Officer Gudella’s family in the wake of their loss.

Donors have contributed more than $92,000 to the effort so far.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow officers, during this trying time,” the BPD said.

The City of Batavia lowered the city’s flags to half-staff on Tuesday in honor of Officer Gudella.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Batavia Police Department Officer Joe Gudella, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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