MPD officer dies of COVID-19 complications, family says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police are mourning the loss of veteran patrolman Bobby Montgomery.

His family told FOX13 Officer Bobby Montgomery died from complications of COVID-19 Sunday at Methodist Hospital. He had just celebrated his 45th birthday on Friday.

Officer Montgomery served many roles during his almost two decades of police work. His commanding officer at the Tillman Police Precinct described Montgomery as someone with a positive upbeat attitude. Lt. Col. Vincent Beasley said he remembers him an officer at ease in the patrol car, behind the desk helping people, and as a CIT officer used in crisis situations.

“We referred to him as the gentle giant here,” said Lt. Col. Beasley. “He was just a good guy, a family guy, always happy. I don’t ever remember seeing him, and I have been here two years, I don’t remember seeing him upset or anything.”

Officer Montgomery’s family told FOX13 he died of complications from COVID-19. They said he tested positive for the virus on July 29 and had been hospitalized until his death. Montgomery had other health issues the family did not want to discuss when FOX13 asked. His sister in law told FOX13 the family believes Montgomery was exposed to the virus while on duty.

Memphis Police can’t confirm the cause of death but said the loss is felt by his colleagues.

“Talking to the officers, are they nervous about it? Yes, they are more nervous about it,” said Beasley.

Have questions about the spread of coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

The Memphis Police Association has said officers have been concerned about catching COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Memphis Police Department sent FOX13 figures that show 27 commissioned officers have tested positive. The number of MPD employees and officers quarantined is 24.

Lt. Col. Beasley said, “We tell them the same thing we have been telling them for the longest. Wear your mask. When in public, wear your masks. Wash your hands, be careful. Keep your hands out of your face.”

Lt. Col. Beasley told FOX13 the Tillman precinct officers and others know the risk but have a duty to perform.

“We are going to do it in his name. We are going to do it proudly because he served so well,” Beasley said.

Officer Bobby Montgomery was a father of three. His family said they are still making arrangements for his funeral.

For the latest on coronavirus, stream FOX13 News on FOX13 Memphis Now – it’s free on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your FOX13 News App. You can also follow FOX13 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.