NEWARK, NJ. — The Newark Department of Public Safety announced Friday that another member of its police division died due to the coronavirus, making this the third in its tally since the onset of the pandemic. 

Officer Michael Connors, 58, died at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital on Thursday, his family said. HIs superiors acknowledged him on Thursday as a pillar of the police force. 

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Officer Conners,” Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. “He was an integral part of our Police Division’s family. We all knew him as a dedicated public servant who served faithfully for 26 years. This painful passing is felt throughout our ranks.” 

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Connors joined the Newark Police Division in 1993 and served at the 1st Precinct for the past five years. He leaves behind two daughters, two sons and six grandchildren. 

“Officer Conners was a pillar in the Newark Police Division,” Chief of Police Darnell Henry said. “He was known for his consistency as an insightful guardian of the community and as a reliable colleague. Our deepest condolences are extended to his family.” 

As of April 23, 126 Newark police officers and 47 firefighters have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the city. Demand for services has been high as a result of the pandemic, leaving public safety personnel vulnerable to exposure.