BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Friends, family and police officers from across the state gathered Wednesday night to honor Barrington Police Sgt. Gino Caputo, who died following a five-week battle with COVID-19.
Caputo, according to his wife Cindy, spent the last four weeks in the hospital on a ventilator.
“He fought very hard,” she said. “He was a strong man. It just got him I guess.”
Barrington Police Chief Michael Correia said Caputo was a mentor to the younger officers within the department.
“He really cared about the cops he worked with and I think that’s how I will always remember him, as someone who, with 27 years in the police department, was truly engaged and truly cared and loved the people he worked with,” Correia said.
A new study from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows 71 officers died after contracting COVID-19 in the first six months of 2021, making the virus the leading cause of death for officers. During the same time last year, 76 officers died of the virus when no vaccines were available.
Caputo’s family told 12 News he chose not to get the vaccine because he was healthy, had no underlying medical conditions and rarely got sick.
“A lot of people are going back and forth with the vaccination, the truth is they really need to get vaccinated. They need to get vaccinated because this is a perfect example of what will happen if you don’t,” his sister Rosamaria Gallucci said.
The wake was held at Nardolillo Funeral Home in Cranston. Caputo’s funeral mass will take place Thursday morning at the Holy Ghost Church on Federal Hill in Providence.