AUSTIN, Texas - Senior Austin Police Officer Randy Boyd was laid to rest Friday.
On August 25 Boyd became the first Austin Police Officer to die of COVID-19. Because of SB 22, it is presumed Boyd contracted COVID in the line of duty.
"In patrol, even when it became dangerous because of COVID-19 [Boyd] still showed up. While many in our community have been blessed to be able to work from home during this pandemic, our officers continue to show up. All officers continue to show up and put themselves in harms way." said Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon.
The Officer Down Memorial Page cites COVID-19 as the number one cause of death for U.S. law enforcement in 2020 and 2021.
"I think it’s important to remind folks that the pandemic is still with us and is very real. And I urge people to continue to take all the precautions including vaccinations and masks, all the things that we know will help to end this horrible virus." said Chacon.
Senior Sergeant Steve Urias died of COVID-19 the same week Boyd died. Friday, 46 Austin Police Officers and eight civilian employees had the virus.
"The bible says in John 15:13 ‘greater love has no man than this, than he who lays down his life for his friends.’ Make no mistake that is what Randy did — he gave his life for this community." said Chacon.
Boyd’s older sister Mechelle Riggens told FOX 7 Austin, "That’s just [our family] that’s just what we do. I mean the way we were raised is always think of others first and that was just him."
Boyd’s patrol partner Officer Mark Dell stressed that the devoted family man did not want to be remembered as a "police officer."
"‘Cause that’s not what defined him. Being a husband, a father a son a brother an uncle and a friend is what he was really about." said Dell.
Randy is survived by his wife Erica — whom he met in middle school and re-connected with later in life, their twin boys Austin and Hunter and their extended family.
"Erica I want you to know that Randy will never be forgotten, and that you and the boys will always be a part of our APD family... you can take solace in knowing that we will be there with you through it even as you rebuild your life and you heal. We will always answer the call. We will stand with you and when needed we’ll stand behind you to hold you up." said Chacon adding "To Austin and Hunter, your dad was a hero. He served honorably professionally and with integrity and he will never, ever, be forgotten."
Boyd was a 7-year-veteran of the force. He joined the department later in life after a career in music and the mortgage industry. His father in-law, a retired Austin Police Officer, told him the career was fulfilling. Boyd was a dedicated youth mentor.
Chacon said Boyd was set to be promoted to "district representative" a community liaison role — however staffing issues made the move impossible. "His experience and wisdom gained from a lifetime of talking to folks showed right away." Chacon explained.
Dell described Boyd as "always smiling." Adding he was an outstanding listener. "He could really change the behavior of people by just his patience and his words." he said.
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