Patrick Sloan, a patrol officer with the Sunray Police Department died Saturday, October 31 of COVID-19, according to Sunray Police Department Chief Colt Farni. "It was a shock," said Farni. "They were thinking on Friday he might be able to go home. That night he took a turn for the worse and passed away on the 31st."
Services are pending. Farni said Sloan's family members had to expose themselves to COVID in order to see him, so they are in quarantine for two weeks from the 31st. "It is horrible," said Farni. "It's just a horrid time. I feel guilty that I am not with them, but I can't be." Farni said he tries to bring them things they need, but he has to leave the items on the porch.
COVID has taken a heavy toll on first responders and medical personnel across the nation. Despite taking as many precautions as they can, the have to work in close proximity to other people, some of whom are infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. They knowingly assume a higher degree of risk than members of the general public. Their jobs are essential; they cannot work remotely. Sloan is the second Moore County lawman to pass away from COVID. Dumas Police Department Chief Marvin Trejo died last May. His permanent replacement was sworn in last week.
"He was a good officer," said Farni of Sloan. "He was a very smart man; he had a master's degree." Sloan was one of the people Farni picked to help him rebuild the Sunray Police Department when he took over the then defunct department as chief at the beginning of 2019. Sloan, a veteran lawman and a veteran of the armed services, began working as an unpaid reserve officer until Sunray finances allowed him to become a paid, full-time officer a little over a year ago.
Farni said Sloan, who lived in Dumas, was more than just a good police officer. "He was a family man. He was a good husband, a good daddy, and a good grandpa. He was a believer." The officers and chief of the three-man Sunray Police Department share a small office in a small building. They try to put away pictures and other personal items at the end of their shift so that they are not in the way of the others having to use the same space. "One of the coolest things about Patrick … every day when he came on shift, the first thing he would do -- he had a picture of him and his wife -- he would take that out and set it where he could see it by his computer screen. … There is no replacing Patrick Sloan."