Indio, CA – Indio Police Officer Isabel “Izzy” Velasquez succumbed to a rare form of lung cancer on May 31, after a “brief but brave battle," her department said.
“The entire Indio Police Department is mourning the loss of our sister in blue. We were shaken to our core to learn of her unexpected passing,” the agency said in a Facebook post. “Officer Velasquez was a beautiful soul with an infectious smile. Her IPD family will miss her greatly.”
Officer Velasquez, 26, joined the Indio Police Department on July 7, 2016, after having served six years as an Army Reserve Specialist, her mother, Mercedes Garibay, said on a fundraising page.
“With a void in my heart and with the deepest regret I have to inform our beloved Isabel Velasquez (Chave) has passed away,” Garibay wrote. “She fought a hard fight but she’s resting now. You will always live on in the hearts of all of us who loved you and cherished you.”
The fundraising effort was initiated to help Officer Velasquez with her medical costs, but was redesigned after her passing to aid her family with funeral expenses and their effort to erect a memorial billboard in her honor.
The campaign exceeded expectations, and Garibay posted a photo of Officer Velasquez’s billboard on Thursday.
During her battle, many of her fellow officers wished her well in a video message, and begged for her to return soon.
“My family and myself have received so much support and love though out this whole process,” Officer Velasquez said in a Facebook post on May 27. “I want to thank every one of you…Stay humble and close to God friends.”
“Izzy, though you may have lost the battle, we carry on in your name to fight the good fight. We will remain forever W455 Strong,” the Indo Police Department's post concluded. “We have the watch from here, as you hold the line from above. Until we see you again, may your smile never fade in our heart.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Indio Police Officer Isabel Velasquez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here