Colorado Springs, CO – El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) Deputy Jeff Hopkins died on Wednesday after contracting COVID-19.
El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder announced the 41-year-old deputy’s death during a brief press conference at Centennial Hall the following afternoon, KKTV reported.
“We’re here to express the sheriff’s office’s profound sadness to let everyone know in our community that Deputy Jeff Hopkins, unexpectedly and while off-duty, passed away on April 1,” Sheriff Elder said.
Deputy Hopkins, a 19-year veteran-of-the-force, had been suffering from symptoms of the novel coronavirus for between seven and 10 days, KKTV reported.
He did not have any known underlying health conditions.
“He was as strong as an ox,” Deputy Hopkins’ father, Bobby Hopkins, told The Gazette. “He had a clean x-ray on the 22nd, and on April 1, he was gone.”
His COVID-19 test came back positive the day after his death, Sheriff Elder said.
“We’ve honored each victim of this disease in our community,” El Paso County Board of Health Director Susan Wheelan said during the press conference. “Today, we mourn one of our own – a first responder, a dedicated servant…His death is a reminder of the risk carried by those who serve.”
Seven other EPCSO deputies have tested positive for COVID-19, but many have recovered or are in the midst of promising recoveries, Wheelan noted.
Deputy Hopkins served as a patrol deputy, floor security, and arrest control officer during his two decades with the sheriff’s office, KKTV reported.
He was most recently assigned to inmate intake and release duties at the county jail.
Sheriff Elder described Deputy Hopkins as “an exceptional employee” who was committed to serving the community, KKTV reported.
“He was always committed to the mission of the sheriff’s office and he will be missed,” the sheriff added.
Deputy Hopkins leaves behind his wife, Wendy, as well as his parents.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Hopkins, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.