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’Beloved’ Baltimore police civilian employee dies of coronavirus, department says

A “beloved” civilian employee for the Baltimore Police Department, who worked for more than two decades as an office support specialist, died of complications from the coronavirus, the police department said Tuesday.

Officials learned about the death of Katiza Melette, a civilian employee with the police department for 24 years, over the weekend, the department said in a statement. It was not immediately clear when she died.

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Melette had worked the last 20 years for the department’s Southern District station, located on Cherry Hill Road, according to police.

She worked with “dedication and distinction, and served as a model public servant throughout her career,” the department said.

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Police Commissioner Michael Harrison mourned the loss of another “committed” public servant to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

“Her commitment to the citizens of Baltimore and the members of the Southern District spanned over two decades, and will never be forgotten,” Commissioner Harrison said in a statement. “Ms. Melette will be greatly missed by her work family here at BPD.”

Mayor Brandon Scott offered his condolences. The recently elected Democrat took the opportunity to warn of the deadliness of the coronavirus, which as of Monday morning had claimed the lives of more than 5,500 Marylanders and infected almost 169,000 more.

“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Ms. Melette, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time,” Scott said in a statement released by the police department.

“This loss demonstrates that all of us continue to be vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative that we continue to be diligent and vigilant in following public health guidelines that are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

This article will be updated.

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