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27-year veteran is second HPD officer to die from COVID-19

Sr. Officer John Wilbanks had an extensive career after joining the Houston Police Department in the summer of 1994.

HOUSTON — The Houston Police Department has lost another one of its own to COVID-19. 

Senior Police Officer John Wilbanks is the second HPD officer to succumb to the virus after passing away Wednesday. He was 53.

“Today, we lost a man who is the epitome of what it is to be a public servant,” HPD said in a statement.

According to the department, Wilbanks joined the department in June of 1994.

He worked with several departments throughout his career; including the Southeast, Southwest and Clear Lake division. He was also assigned to traffic enforcement, vehicular crimes, tactical operations, air and marine divisions.

“All of HPD mourns the loss of officer Wilbanks,” HPD tweeted. “We ask that entire city of Houston to join us in lifting up his family in prayer.”

HPD lost Senior Police Officer Ernest Leal Jr., 60, in November 2020. He had been hospitalized with COVID-19 for several weeks.

RELATED: Family, friends say final goodbyes to HPD Officer Ernest Leal Jr.

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