‘She was part of a new generation’: 39-year-old LAPD detention officer mourned following weekslong battle with COVID-19

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Senior Detention Officer Erica McAdoo is seen in a photo posted on the Instagram page for LAPD's Custody Services Division in April 2020.
Senior Detention Officer Erica McAdoo is seen in a photo posted on the Instagram page for LAPD’s Custody Services Division in April 2020.

Erica McAdoo, the first LAPD employee reported to have died of COVID-19, is described as a beloved and respected officer who raised standards and expectations at the agency’s Custody Services Division.

The senior detention officer died July 3 from coronavirus complications at age 39, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. McAdoo is survived by her mother Donna Royston.

The governor’s office on Monday ordered Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff in McAdoo’s honor.

McAdoo served at LAPD’s Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles, according to the Custody Service Division, which first disclosed her battle with COVID-19 in an Instagram post in April.

On July 4, the Police Department announced that she had died.

“Erica was a professional who embraced the challenges of custody work and the transition from custody officer to custody supervision,” said a statement from the Custody Service Division. “She was part of a new generation, raising the standard and level of expectations for our personnel. Always with a reassuring smile and calming disposition, Erica’s presence – and absence was felt. … Our Division, and [its] personnel are better because of her time and commitment.”

LAPD, which reported a spike in coronavirus infections in June, has confirmed at least 320 cases of COVID-19 among its employees. Among those who tested positive, 254 are isolating themselves at home and 136 have returned to work, the city said Monday.

Detention centers, like other facilities where people live and work in close quarters, have been hit hard by the pandemic.

In April, officials said a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy died after escorting an inmate to a hospital. In June, a correctional officer at a state prison in Norco and a plant operations worker at a state prison in Riverside County died of COVID-19.

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