Sixteen-year veteran cop died of a stroke
Mott Haven’s 40th precinct is mourning the death of a veteran officer who suffered a stroke in the precinct locker room on Oct. 8.
Officer Freddie Jenkins Jr., who lived in the Bronx and worked at the Alexander Avenue stationhouse for just over 16 years, was found unconscious by a fellow officer returning from the night shift at 7:20 a.m. Jenkins was 39.
He was rushed to nearby Lincoln Hospital but doctors were unable to revive him. The official cause of death was a brain hemorrhage due to high blood pressure, according to the Medical Examiner’s office.
“We all stood in salute in a line from upstairs to the ambulance” said Officer Claudia Mera, a 40th precinct Community Affairs officer, as she described how EMTs carried Jenkins to the ambulance.
Jenkins’ death came as a surprise to his fellow officers who had no prior knowledge of any medical issues.
“It was a shock to all. He looked physically fit, like a soldier,” said Mera, who described Jenkins as “very quiet, reserved and professional.”
Officers commemorated their fallen brother in blue by wearing mourning bands over their badges and hanging black bunting over the door of the precinct. Family members and the police community gathered to pay their respects Monday and Tuesday afternoon at a memorial service at Williams Funeral Home in the Bronx.
The precinct is currently attempting to have Jenkins’ death recognized for the Police Departments’ line of duty memorial.
Friends showered Jenkins’ Facebook page with messages of love and remembrance soon after his death. Family members responded to the outpouring of condolences with gratitude for officers and friends showing their support.
“Thank you all. Freddie has great friends who reflect the character of the person he will always be remembered as,” said Robert Jenkins, who identified himself as Jenkins’ cousin, in a comment on Oct. 13.
Colleagues spoke kindly of Officer Jenkins’ loyalty to the community. “He was always available for community events. He liked to work with the community,” said Mera, noting his participation in the precinct’s annual Safe Sweets and Treats Halloween event and book bag drive.
Jenkins had deep ties to the Bronx, the community he grew up and lived in most his life. He dedicated his entire 16-year police career to the 40th Precinct and took the responsibilities of his uniform seriously. Making sure a fallen officer is remembered is priority for Jenkins’ colleagues.
“You know how it is,” said Officer Mera, “We’ll always take care of our brothers.”