AKRON, Ohio — A popular Akron police officer has died from COVID-19 complications, according to the department.
Officer Edward Stewart, 60, died at Summa Akron City Hospital early Friday morning.
Stewart had been hospitalized with the virus since December.
"We had all held out hope and offered prayer that he would recover, and unfortunately, he didn't and that's the tragedy here," said Lt Michael Miller, who considered Stewart a good friend.
The veteran cop worked in the patrol division for 27 years. He was assigned to Platoon 3 and served as a transport wagon officer.
"Stew quietly left an indelible mark upon the Akron Police Department and community throughout his 27-year career. Stew was known to many for his unique thirst for knowledge, and an equal desire to share that with everyone throughout the department, regardless of rank,"Miller said. "Stew was equally known as a humble, community oriented, public servant, who was always genuinely kind to everyone he met."
Many on the Akron police force stressed Stewart was passionate about his job and extremely helpful to other officers.
"If there was one word to just represents him, it would be respect," said Sgt. Brent Bauknecht. "He's just going to be be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this extremely difficult time."
Fellow officers also believe Stewart had a photographic memory.
"He would run a license plate in his mind and say that car was stolen back then, or this car was just recovered. He would look at anybody and say, 'I remember arresting that guy.'"
Stewart leaves behind a wife, two adult sons and two grandchildren.
It's the second time in three months that APD has lost an active-duty officer.
In November, Officer Kenny Jones died suddenly from natural causes.