Baytown, TX – Baytown Police Officer Johnny Almendarez died of an apparent heart attack at his home on Aug. 19.
Officer Almendarez, 50, was found unresponsive at his residence, his department said in a Facebook post.
Despite extensive efforts, he was “unable to overcome the possible cardiac event,” Baytown police said.
He had been with the department for nearly 20 years, and spent the past 10 months working as a K9 officer with his partner, K9 Robby Mac, who he also referred to as “Hero.”
Officer Almendarez also served as a field training officer, and was a member of the department’s Hot Spot Team, where he made a “huge impact,” the department noted.
“Officer Almendarez was very well known for his ability to identify and apprehend criminals, as well as for his recall ability,” the post continued. “If he came into contact with you, chances are your face and name was forever engrained in his memory, as were all of your associates. This talent is just one of the many things that made him a very valuable part of our department.”
In 2012, he was awarded the Baytown Police Department’s Purple Heart, for apprehending a violent criminal who attacked him during a suspicious person call.
He was always willing to provide advice to those in need of direction, the agency said.
In addition to being a skilled, well-respected member of the department, Officer Almendarez also had a talent for making others laugh.
“He could make anyone laugh with his jokes and his impersonations of other officers, rank-and-file and supervisors alike,” the department said. “He was a good man, and a great cop, who served our community with honor and distinction…He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.”
Officer Almendarez leaves behind his wife, Barbara, three sons, one daughter, mother, and many friends and extended family members, according to his obituary.
“Rest well my brother Johnny, you served well, sir,” the department’s post read.
Officer Almendarez was laid to rest on Friday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Baytown Police Officer Johnny Almendarez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.