RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A 15-year veteran of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department died Thursday of COVID-19, the agency announced.

Undated photo of Deputy Terrell Young (courtesy photo)

Deputy Terrell Young is the first member of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to succumb to coronavirus, as well as possibly the first law enforcement officer in Southern California.

Cases of coronavirus have been on the rise in Riverside County and beyond, especially in the jails. Several deputies assigned to jails in Riverside and San Bernardino counties have tested positive for coronavirus, along with at least one inmate.

“This virus was spread by employees and inmates,” said Riverside Sheriff Chad Bianco.

Bianco said that Young escorted an inmate to the Riverside University Hospital on March 22 and within a week he was sick himself. That inmate became sick the same day.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty,” Bianco said of the spread of the virus among Riverside deputies and inmates.

The Riverside Sheriffs’ Association confirmed that Young also worked assignments at the Larry Smith Correctional Facility, Perris Station, Court Services, Southwest Station, and the Cois Byrd Detention Center, but it’s not clear where he was assigned last.

“The news of Terrell’s loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our health professionals to stop the spread of COVID-19,” association President Bill Young said in a statement.

“He was one of our first cases here at the department,” said Sgt. Alberto Martinez. “Everybody that worked with him, once they found out he tested positive, they were talked to, they were told to monitor themselves, for those who showed symptoms, those people were tested.”

Young leaves behind a wife and four children. A fundraiser has been set up here.

In Los Angeles County, the LAPD says a total of 33 employees have tested positive for coronavirus, but it’s not clear where those employees were assigned.


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