CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its officers.
According to a tweet from Police Chief Johnny Jennings, Ofc. Julio Herrera passed away after 28 years of service in the Charlotte community.
"It’s with a heavy heart that I share with our CLT family of Ofc. Julio Herrera’s passing," Jennings wrote on Twitter.
George Dunlap, chair for the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners, said Herrera died from COVID-19. Dunlap said Herrera was just four months shy of retirement.
“So, I wanted to say to the community that COVID is real," Dunlap said. "And for all of the naysayers who think that one life lost is insignificant -- go talk to his family members.”
Jennings said officer Herrera is survived by a wife and two children.
"He’ll also be missed by the many students he mentored at Ardrey Kell High School," Jennings continued.
Students at the high school painted their spirit rock in memory of Officer Herrera.
Officer Herrera was featured on WCNC Charlotte in November 2014 after he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a high school freshman who was choking on a grape.
The student later wrote the officer a card to thank him for saving her life.
"A day like that is a great day," Officer Herrera previously said. "It makes what I do really fulfilling."
A celebration of life service will be held Monday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Charlotte on South Davidson Street in Charlotte.
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