Brooksville, FL – Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Sergeant Louis “Lou” Genovese died of an undisclosed illness on Saturday night.
Sgt. Genovese was hospitalized approximately three weeks earlier due to a “sudden onset medical condition,” Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said in a press release on Sunday.
Medical personnel “worked tirelessly to correct that condition” in the weeks that followed, Sheriff Nienhuis said.
“Sergeant Genovese passed away peacefully last night, surrounded by his loving family, friends, and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office family,” according to the sheriff.
Sgt. Genovese’s career with the HCSO began in 2006, when he was hired as a public service aide.
He entered the law enforcement training academy as a cadet three months later, and was hired as a HCSO deputy on July 9, 2007.
Sgt. Genovese was serving with the HCSO Patrol Division when he was struck by the acute illness.
The longtime lawman previously graduated from Zion Bible College with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies, and was working on his master’s degree at the time of his death.
Sheriff Nienhuis referred to Sgt. Genovese’s passing as a “heart wrenching loss.”
“Lou was a man of God, who was loved and respected by his coworkers, his friends, and his family,” he wrote.
“A few years ago, Lou realized that he could have an even greater impact on the agency and the community by taking on a role as a leader and mentor,” the sheriff continued. “Lou and I spoke often about his progress in college, and about recent leadership revelations he had as a sergeant and mentor. I genuinely looked forward to him taking on additional responsibilities in the years to come.”
Sheriff Nienhuis said that Sgt. Genovese left behind “a legacy and example” that will continue to positively impact the HCSO “for many years to come.”
The department described the beloved sergeant as a “gentle giant” who had a “smile that stretched from ear to ear.”
“[He] always had a kind word and a welcoming hug,” the agency’s post read.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Louis “Lou” Genovese, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.