BARRINGTON, R.I (WPRI) — A 27-year veteran of the Barrington Police Department has died after a five-week battle with COVID-19, the department announced.
Sgt. Gino Caputo, 58, died on Saturday in the hospital surrounded by his wife Cindy and their family.
Black bunting has been draped over the public safety building as well as a cruiser in front of the building.
Barrington Police Chief Michael Correia said Sgt. Caputo was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“He had a right to make a decision and I respect his right to make that decision,” Correia said. “It doesn’t take away from just how tremendously sad it is for this Barrington Police Department, the town, and for really the many friends in law enforcement that he had.”
Law enforcement from throughout the state sent their condolences to Sgt. Caputo’s family, as well as his brothers and sisters in blue.
Gov. Dan McKee also put out a statement on social media, saying he and his wife are sending thoughts, prayers, and their deepest condolences to Sgt. Caputo’s family, loved ones, and members of the police department.
“He really cared about the cops that he worked with and I think that’s how I’ll always remember him, as someone who 27 years in the police department just truly was engaged and truly cared and loved the people he worked with,” Correia said.
The department says funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.
“His kindness and generosity was expressed many times,” Correia said. “People told me that if people in the Barrington Police Department if they had children, they always thought Gino would be a really good godfather to their child because of his generosity and kindness. And I think that speaks volumes.”
Sgt. Caputo is not the first Southern New England police officer to die after contracting COVID-19.
A handful of Massachusetts police officers have died after battling the virus, including Sgt. Michael Cassidy of New Bedford, who also served his department for 27-years.