KILLEEN, Texas — An Austin police officer who died of COVID-19 was laid to rest in Killeen Friday.
Services were held at First Baptist Church of Killeen for Senior Patrol Officer Randolph Boyd.
"While many in our community are blessed to be able to work from home during this pandemic, our officers continue to show up, all officers continue to show up, and put themselves in harms way, put their lives on the line in the service of others," said Interim Police Chief Joe Chacon.
Boyd joined the Austin Police Department in 2014. He died early Wednesday. He grew up in Killeen and graduated from Killeen High School in 1989. Boyd had a wife and two sons.
"Randy was a great officer who gave everything he had for a life of service," Chacon said. "Despite the surging pandemic, officers have continued to put their lives on the line, showing up to serve the Austin community while placing themselves in harm's way."
Boyd is one of two Austin police officers who has died of COVID-19. The department announced Thursday that Sgt. Steve Urias died of complications due to COVID-19.
Nationally, more officers have died of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 than any other cause, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
In May, state lawmakers passed a bill allowing officers' families to have access to line-of-duty death benefits if they die of COVID-19, making it presumptive that they contracted the virus on the job.
"Randy wanted his life to be celebrated with happiness and smiles. He did not want to be remembered as a police officer because that is not what defined him. Being a father, a husband, a brother, a son, an uncle and a friend is what he was about," said Austin Police Officer Mark Dale.