Officer Rolando Huertas passed suddenly sometime between late Friday night and early Saturday morning, the V.I.P.D. confirmed to the Consortium following an inquiry. This picture was taken in February, 2023. By THE VIRGIN ISLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT.
ST. CROIX — Well-known and accomplished police officer, Rolando Huertas, who has been honored on several occasions for his outstanding work in protecting the community with the V.I. Police Department, passed suddenly sometime between late Friday night and early Saturday morning, the V.I.P.D. confirmed to the Consortium following an inquiry.
The department told the Consortium that Huertas "died peacefully in his sleep" of natural causes. He was found by his son, who checked on his father Saturday morning, according to investigators.
Huertas's death has stunned the St. Croix community as the officer was relatively young, believed to be in his 50s.
In May 2015, Huertas was among several officers honored by the V.I.P.D. for "valiant service". He also received the honorable service award for his efforts at the department.
Police Commissioner Ray Martinez extended condolences to Huertas's family and to his colleagues at the V.I.P.D., who were stunned by the officer's passing and were in mourning. "These situations are shocking and at times it shakes us to the core, and it just shows us just how close-knit the V.I.P.D. family is — that's why it hurts so much," he said.
"We truly appreciate all of the work Rolando did for the V.I.P.D. in the various positions that he held," the commissioner added. Mr. Martinez said he worked with Huertas for years with the V.I.P.D.'s Tactical Unit, where Mr. Martinez at the time served as intelligence director. "I am quite knowledgeable of the asset that he was to the V.I.P.D. and also know how much of a team player he was. He is truly going to be missed, and we'll continue to forge ahead and to push the V.I.P.D. ahead with Huertas's outstanding and dedicated service as a guide."
Huertas is survived by his wife and two children: a son and a daughter.