Sgt. with Jacksonville Beach Police Department dies from COVID-19 complications

Sgt. Dan Watts (Jacksonville Beach Police Department)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man described as a decorated veteran member of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department has died from complications related to COVID-19, according to a Wednesday news release. Sgt. Daniel Eugene Watts was 49 years old.

Chief Gene Smith, with the Police Department, said Watts previously worked with the Atlantic Beach Police Department, where he served four years. He started with Jacksonville Beach police in 2002 as a patrol officer and became a detective two years later.

He transferred to the position of downtown CAPE officer in 2012, was promoted to corporal in 2013 and worked as a patrol until he moved to the rank of detective corporal in 2015, the Police Department said. He was promoted to sergeant and moved pack to patrol in April of this year.

Smith said Watts served on the SWAT team for over 10 years.

“Dan was a decorated, veteran member of this department,” Smith said in a prepared statement. “We are devastated.”

An announcement regarding a memorial service was planned to be made at a later date.