Trenton, NJ – New Jersey State Department of Corrections (DOC) Senior Correctional Police Officer Maria Gibbs died on April 21 due to COVID-19 complications.
The 47-year-old correctional police officer succumbed to kidney and cardiac issues related to the novel coronavirus, Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 105 President William Sullivan told NJ.com.
“She had been doing well for a while, but then it took a turn for the worse and she was on a ventilator,” Sullivan explained. “Her body gave out from all the treatments…She sacrificed herself for her job.”
She served the DOC for 19 years, the New Jersey State PBA said in a press release.
Correctional Police Officer Gibbs was assigned to the Central Reception and Assignment Facility in Ewing Township, The Trentonian reported.
She previously served at the Northern State Prison in Newark, according to NJ.com.
“She’s a true hero,” Sullivan told The Trentonian. “She went to work facing the pandemic and unfortunately she lost her life for it. But just like all of our officers, they go to work every day. They do the job they are supposed to do.”
Sullivan said that the DOC has been “hit pretty hard” by the novel coronavirus.
“You can’t social distance in the prison,” he told The Trentonian. “Everything is close quarters. You can’t really observe from afar. You’ve still got to make sure you maintain the safety and welfare of the inmates, so it’s tough on our job to social distance. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten the brunt of this virus.”
Correctional Police Officer Gibbs leaves behind her husband, Dwayne, who serves at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, The Trentonian reported.
She is also survived by her four children.
“Correctional Police Officer Maria Gibbs Served the New Jersey Department of Corrections with Dignity and Honor,” the PBA said in a Facebook post “This Tragic death from this disease have left our hearts broken. Our thought and prayers are with her Family and her extended blue family.”
Correctional Police Officer Gibbs was laid to rest on April 29, according to The Trentonian.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New Jersey State Department of Corrections Senior Correctional Police Officer Maria Gibbs, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.