MCSO Sheriff Penzone says 2 detention workers have died of COVID-19

Aug 12, 2021, 10:15 AM | Updated: 11:05 am
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX – Two Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detention employees have died of complications from COVID-19 recently, bringing the number of Valley law enforcement personnel fatalities from the disease to four announced in the last week.

Sheriff Paul Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday that other employees have been ill, some even hospitalized.

In a separate interview with KTAR News, he said the infections in the employees who died were not line-of-duty related.

“It’s devastating. … It’s devastating because of the loss, it’s devastating because of the fear now,” Penzone said.

One of the workers had been with the department for 17 years, but Penzone gave no other details, citing respect for the families’ privacy.

A year ago, two longtime MCSO deputies died on the same day after contracting COVID.

“Sometimes it could be work exposure, other times it could be personal life exposure because they don’t get to step away from it,” Penzone said.

The Phoenix Police Department and the Glendale Police Department each lost an officer to the virus this month.

Multiple sources told KTAR News on Monday that Phoenix Police Officer Mathew Hefter died from COVID complications. The department said Saturday he died of a medical issue.

The family of Glendale Officer Lonnie Durham said that same day he died from the disease Aug. 2.

“It’s probably one of the most complicated professions right now, second to the medical profession, when it comes to dealing with the pandemic,” Penzone said.

Bullhead City Police Lt. Nick Sessions also died from COVID, the department announced last week.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Rod Stewart performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on Feb. 18, 2020. in London. (Phot...

Rod Stewart delays Phoenix concert for more than a year

The Rod Stewart concert scheduled for next month at Phoenix’s Footprint Center is being pushed back more than a year because of unspecified "production delays.”
20 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team fatally shoots man who allegedly shot at them

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office SWAT team on Wednesday fatally shot a man who allegedly shot at them, authorities said.
20 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/India Water Portal)...
Associated Press

Petitions submitted for new groundwater management district in southeastern Arizona

A proposal apparently headed to the November ballot would have voters in rural southeastern Arizona decide whether to create a new regulatory district to manage large-scale groundwater use for agriculture in an area where aquifer levels have dropped in recent years.
20 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Photo)...

Police seeking person of interest in Phoenix shooting that left man dead

Police are seeking a person of interest in a shooting in Phoenix last month that left a man dead.
20 hours ago
(Match Market & Bar Photo/Timothy Fox Photography)...

What’s cooking? Spring Arizona Restaurant Week starts 10-day run Friday

More than 100 restaurants have signed on to show off their menus during Arizona Restaurant Week, which kicks off Friday.
20 hours ago
(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Phoenix gas average eclipses $5 a gallon with more increases likely this summer, expert says

Phoenix has eclipsed an average of $5 for a gallon of gasoline and prices are likely to continue rising for a while, an industry expert said Wednesday.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
MCSO Sheriff Penzone says 2 detention workers have died of COVID-19