Correctional Officer Richard William Newkirk

Correctional Officer Richard William Newkirk

Iowa Department of Corrections, Iowa

End of Watch Wednesday, November 3, 2021

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Richard William Newkirk

Correctional Officer Rich Newkirk died from complications as a result of contracting COVID-19 while serving at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at 2700 Coral Ridge Avenue in Coralville.

Correctional Officer Newkirk was an Iowa National Guard veteran and had served with the Iowa Department of Corrections for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and son.

The Effects of COVID on Law Enforcement

Beginning in early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country began to contract COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic. Due to the nature of their job, law enforcement officers were required to work and interact with the community even as the majority of the country was self-quarantined. As a result, hundreds of officers died from COVID-related illnesses and other complications.

Corrections agencies, in particular, suffered tremendous losses due to the constant and close proximity between the corrections officers and large inmate populations. Since March 2020, ODMP has verified that over 900 law enforcement officers have died as the result of a confirmed or presumed exposure while on duty and continues to work with hundreds of other agencies that have suffered a COVID-related death.

Visit ODMP's COVID-19 memorial listing every officer who has died as a result of a confirmed or presumed exposure.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause COVID19
  • Incident Date Sunday, October 10, 2021

communicable disease, COVID-19

Most Recent Reflection

View all 25 Reflections

God obviously had other plans for you buddy. Rest in peace little brother.

Correctional Officer J. Cole
Iowa Department of Corrections

February 15, 2022

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