Port Wentworth officer dies after exposure to COVID-19 while on duty

Lt. Dale Sylvester Jr.
Lt. Dale Sylvester Jr.(Port Wentworth Police Department)
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 1:51 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 9:54 PM EDT
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PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Port Wentworth officer has died from complications because of an exposure to COVID-19 while on duty, according to the police department.

The department posted on Facebook that Lt. Dale Sylvester Jr. passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Lt. Sylvester had worked for the Port Wentworth Police Department for approximately five years. Before that, he had retired from the Chatham County Police Department and the district attorney’s office after 26 years of service.

”We lost a police officer, the county did, yes but we lost a family member,” said Port Wentworth Police Sergeant Justin Hardy.

First responders put their lives on the line every day without always knowing what to expect.

”They are going into homes. They are going into businesses. They are going into vehicles that are occupied. The interaction with human beings is always there, everyday, many times a day and the potential for exposure is significant,” said President of the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire Mark Dana.

Dana says four members of law enforcement in our region died after being exposed to COVID, including Lt. Sylvester.

“There would never be enough words in no matter who you talk to describe just how much he meant to his friends, his co-workers and his loved ones,” said Sergeant Hardy.

The Sylvester family has requested in lieu of flowers, that a donation to the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire.

”When a first responder is in that terrible situation when they realize they might not get out of it and they may die all they care about and they pray for is somebody to please take care of their family and that’s where we step in and help out the families,” said Dana.

The Port Wentworth Police Department is saddened to announce the death of Lt. Dale Sylvester Jr. Lt. Sylvester passed...

Posted by Port Wentworth Police Department on Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Viewing and visitation will be held on Sunday, Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. at Rincon First Baptist Church. The funeral service will follow at 3:30 p.m. It is requested that a mask must be worn appropriately by all that are attending the services, regardless of vaccination.

The Sylvester family has requested in lieu of flowers, that a donation to the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire. Please visit their website at to donate.

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