A third Filipino American working at the Los Angeles Police Department has succumbed to COVID-19, becoming the department’s eighth employee taken by the virus.
Dexter De Los Santos, a full-time security guard with the Security Services Division, died on January 29, the department announced. He was 41 years old.
De Los Santos graduated from Daniel Murphy High School in Los Angeles and worked various jobs before fulfilling his dream of joining the LAPD in 2012.
“He was well known for his wittiness, generosity, big heart and the person this colleagues could depend on for covering holiday and late shifts. This was mostly because Dexter’s main goal was to make the world a safer place for all,” his family wrote in an email to the Asian Journal.
He embodied the role of a “kuya” (older brother) as the eldest of three siblings, and extended that to his cousins and later when he became an uncle and grand uncle.
“When times were tough, he was the person to bring spirits up, mostly through his witty jokes and infectious smile,” his family said.
The department has lost eight officers and civilian employees since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Fred, Terry, Raymond, Valentin, Erica, Philip, Dexter, Patricia—you will never be forgotten,” the department tweeted. “We thank you for your dedicated service. May you all Rest In Peace.”
Two other Fil-Ams who died from the virus include: Officer Philip Sudario, a 25-year veteran officer assigned to the Southeast Community Police Station in South Los Angeles, who died on Jan. 25; and Police Service Representative Raymond Guerrero, a 24-year veteran of the department, who passed on Jan. 7.