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Calif. county correctional lieutenant dies from COVID-19 complications

Lt. Steve Taylor died on Thursday in what the department describes as a line-of-duty death


Facebook/Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

By Brian Rokos
The Press-Enterprise

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A 27-year veteran of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department died Thursday, Feb. 24, in what the department described as a line-of-duty death.

Correctional Lt. Steve Taylor, who was assigned to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, died from complications of COVID-19, the department said in a Facebook post.

Taylor is the third deputy that the department has said died from an illness related to COVID-19.

Deputy David Werksman, 51, died on April 2, 2020, about three weeks after he began experiencing flu-like symptoms. He had been a member of the bomb squad and was working in the sheriff’s administration office, responding to California Public Records Act requests, at the time of his death.

Werksman may have been infected while attending the funeral of his mother, Sheriff Chad Bianco said.

Deputy Terrell Young, 52, a 15-year veteran, also died on April 2, 2020. Bianco said the department believes Young contracted the virus while escorting an inmate from the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in French Valley to a hospital and then back to the jail. Young later arrived at his work station at the jail and fell ill, reporting a fever. The next day, Young and nine other employees called in sick, reporting coronavirus-like symptoms.

The department has not said how it believes Taylor contracted the coronavirus.

Taylor began his career with the department in 1995 as a correctional deputy. He was promoted to corporal in 2006 and to sergeant in 2011. Taylor was promoted to lieutenant in 2019 and assigned to Presley.

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