Vidalia officer dies due to COVID-19, officials say

Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill (left) and Officer Kejaune Bates (Source: Vidalia PD)
Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill (left) and Officer Kejaune Bates (Source: Vidalia PD)(KNOE)
Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 11:27 AM CDT
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Officials say a Vidalia police officer has died.

Officer Kejuane Bates lost his life due to complications related to the coronavirus, officials say.

Bates served as a DARE officer for Vidalia PD.

Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill sent KNOE the following statement on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

"Yesterday we lost a family member; He was a son, husband, father, police officer, pastor, DARE officer, coach, mentor and my friend. There are no words to take away the pain that our family and his family are going through right now. It has always been my job as Chief to build morale and make everyone feel better with comforting words and trying to solve whatever problems the officers and the public may have. I wish I could do that now, but I’m lost for words of comfort, for I am hurting as well. Officer Kejaune Bates was a man of God and all I can think of is that this is God’s plan. Kejuane is rejoicing in Heaven right now. I can only believe this is part of God’s plan for our brother in blue and that this was no mistake. Let’s all take this and learn something from it. As many people that knew Kejuane, everyone had different positive experiences with him. I’m sure everyone will take something away from this and learn what God has to offer. We will continue to hold the line and be there for you. Keep us and Kejaune’s family in your prayers, stay safe, well and strong and God bless! We will get through this together as a Nation and community. Please keep Chelsea, Madison and all of Kejuane’s family in your prayers."