Hero Down: Greater Cleveland RTA Officer Luis Santiago Dies After Long Illness
Cleveland, OH – Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Police Officer Luis Santiago died peacefully at his home on Sept. 3, following a long illness.
The 52-year-old officer’s law enforcement career began in 2013, when he joined the Linndale Police Department (LPD), his son, Cleveland Metroparks Police Officer Luis Santiago, told Blue Lives Matter.
The elder Officer Santiago served the LPD for four years, and also worked both part-time and full-time for the GCRTA.
“It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Transit Police Officer Luis Santiago,” the RTA said in a Facebook post on Friday. “He was a 4-year veteran of the department and was an invaluable asset to our team.”
“Officer Santiago served with honor in the Patrol Division and will be greatly missed,” the department said.
Dispatcher Daniece Etheridge described Officer Santiago as “one of the nicest and most hard-working officers” she had ever “had the pleasure of meeting,” according to his memorial page.
“You were always kind and always had a wonderful spirit about you,” Etheridge wrote. “I am thankful for having the chance to meet you and work with you.”
Fellow Officer Timothy Nelson described Officer Santiago as a “great man and a great cop.”
“I respected him immensely and I am a better cop today for serving beside him,” Officer Nelson wrote in a memorial tribute. “There was no harder working officer or more devoted family man than Luis, the lord has another great protector in his police force watching over us now. We will take the watch from here brother, god bless.”
GCRTA Police Chief John Joyce said that Officer Santiago was especially proud of his family.
“Although he loved all equally, his eyes brightened when he talked to me about his sons and their military and law enforcement service,” Chief Joyce wrote in a memorial tribute.
He noted that Officer Santiago’s “warmth and his humanity” made him a perfect fit for the GCRTA.
“I was very proud that Luis chose the RTA's Transit Police as a place for him to serve as a Law enforcement Officer,” Chief Joyce wrote. “His loss is very difficult for his family here at the Transit Police, but we know he has moved on to even greater service with the Lord.”
Officer Santiago leaves behind his wife, Angie, and his children, Luis, Giovanni, and Jeriel, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by five grandchildren, and was known as a “friend to many.”
Officer Santiago was laid to rest on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Police Officer Luis Santiago, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.