Chattanooga, TN – Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Montijo died in the line of duty on Nov. 1 due to complications from heatstroke.
Sgt. Montijo, 49, was processing an outdoor homicide scene in high humidity and scorching temperatures for several hours on Sept. 12, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He began exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke at the scene, and was transported to a local hospital.
Despite being treated and released, Sgt. Montijo continued to experience health complications associated with the heatstroke, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
His medical issues culminated on Nov. 1, when he was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest.
Sgt. Montijo, a 12-year veteran-of-the-force, was pronounced dead a short while later.
“The Chattanooga Police Department lost an outstanding officer and friend today,” his department said in a Facebook post.
“Since February, 2007 I’ve watched Sgt. Montijo meticulously work hundreds of crime scenes,” Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy said in the post. “He directly contributed to the arrest and prosecution of more criminals than anyone can begin to account for, brought justice to more families than we will ever know, and built relationships and friendships with more of us than we can fathom at this time.”
“Please keep Sgt. Montijo's family and friends in your thoughts as they move through the difficult time ahead of them,” the CPD said.
In addition to his service with the CPD, Sgt. Montijo also spent nearly nine years working for the Los Angeles Police Department.
He was a graduate of the National Forensic Academy and the International Association for Identification, according to his obituary.
Sgt. Montijo leaves behind his wife of 23 years, Alicia, as well as his children, Jenna and Anthony.
He is also survived by his mother, five sisters, and many nieces and nephews.
Sgt. Montijo was laid to rest on Nov. 7.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family Chattanooga Police Department Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Montijo, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.