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Ambridge interim police chief dies of complications of COVID-19

The Ambridge interim police chief died of complications of COVID-19 Sunday, according to a joint statement issued Monday by Ambridge Mayor David Drewnowski and members of Borough Council.

“I got a call probably a half hour after his passing that he had passed. I couldn’t believe it, I was just stunned,” former Pittsburgh Police Chief Dom Costa said.

Chief Mark Romutis told Channel 11’s Amy Marcinkiewicz back in March that the minute he started feeling bad, he self-quarantined, got tested and wasn’t around any of the officers at the police station.

He said the first two days were bad but after that, he felt fine. At 64 years old, with no underlying medical conditions, he said it just felt like a bad case of the flu.

Beaver County Emergency Services is saddened to hear of the passing of Ambridge Police Chief Mark Romutis. Our thoughts...

Posted by Beaver County Emergency Services on Sunday, April 12, 2020

First responders and Ambridge residents held a procession for Romutis Monday.

“It hurts because we’re all a family in this town in every way shape and form,” Katie Cruver, a member of Ambridge Crime Watch, said.

Ambridge Mayor David Drewnowski and members of Borough Council issued the following statement that said in part:

“Chief Romutis will be remembered fondly as the people’s policeman devoutly dedicated to his wife Renee, their son Sam, the Ambridge community and to a lifelong career in police work. ‘Being highly dedicated, Chief Romutis brought many aspects of modern community policing to Ambridge that created lasting friendships and respected relationships with our citizens. His unique abilities brought progressive change to the Ambridge Police Department including his monthly ‘Coffee with a Cop,’ to routinely walking a beat on Merchant Street interacting with business owners and his personal approach of firsthand seeing tips and concerns addressed with compassion and sincerity,’ stated Mayor Drewnowski.”

Romutis remains to be the only Ambridge Police Officer and employee to have any symptoms of COVID-19, the statement said.

The following is a statement provided on behalf of the Beaver County commissioners:

“We are saddened to hear the unexpected passing of Ambridge Borough’s Interim Police Chief Mark Romutis. We extend our condolences to his family, friends, co-workers, and the Ambridge community in general. This is a difficult time for all Beaver County’s law enforcement agencies, and with the loss of two leaders in such a short period of time, we extend our sympathy and continued support to all of them as well.”

Romutis’ death comes one day after another Beaver County police chief died.

Aliquippa Police Chief Rob Sealock died April 11 after having an extreme asthma attack while on duty a few weeks ago. He was in the ICU for two weeks after the emergency.