The Tulsa Police Department announced the death of the city’s police union leader early Wednesday.
Jerad Lindsey, chairman of the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, died after suffering complications of COVID-19, the agency reported. He was 40 years old.
“This is a big loss,” Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said at a news conference following the announcement. “We are going to honor the work that Jerad has done for this department…as he fiercely fought for the rights of our Tulsa police officers.”
Lindsey started his career with Tulsa Police Department in 2005 and worked as patrol officer. He recently was serving also as Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police vice president.
“Jerad’s work with the Fraternal Order of Police on the national, state and local level was done with sincerity and a commitment to the rights of all those wearing the police uniform,” TPD said in a statement.
Lindsey is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two sons.
“People need to understand this is not a joke, this pandemic,” the police chief said in a news conference streamed to the TPD Facebook page. “This virus is killing people. People have puts lots of politics into wearing a mask and the mandates placed within our city, and I think we are all out for nothing more than to help protect this community ...
“It really hits home that we lost an officer to this,” Franklin said. “I hope this changes the opinions of some and changes the actions of people.”
Mayor G.T. Bynum said Lindsey was a friend.
“Jerad loved the men and women of the Tulsa Police Department deeply,” Bynum said in a social media post. “It drove his work as Chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police, and for him that work was not a job but a calling.
“As a friend, he could be incredibly thoughtful and more concerned for you than you might be for yourself. But if he thought you weren’t doing right by his brothers and sisters in blue, he could be an equally devoted thorn in your side ...
“My thoughts this morning are with his family. He loved time spent with them, and they have sacrificed much for his service to the city of Tulsa,” Bynum said.
City councilors also spoke to Lindsey’s legacy of support for officers. District 3 Councilor Crista Patrick and District 9 Councilor Ben Kimbro said Lindsey will be remembered for his tireless commitment to law enforcement.
“Jerad was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and a good friend,” Patrick said. “This is a devastating loss and my heart is with his family. Words are truly inadequate.”
U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern said Lindsey was a great friend and a great leader.
“His leadership impacted so many — both within law enforcement and around the community,” Hern said in a prepared statement. “I spoke with Jerad on Sunday as he battled this virus. All too soon, he was taken from us.”
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