A 50-year-old Cleveland police officer and father of two has passed away on Friday evening after collapsing in heat during a training exercise earlier this week.
Cleveland Police sent out this joint release along with the family of Patrol Officer Vu Nguyen:
On Monday, July 2, 2018, Patrol Officer Vu Nguyen suffered a medical emergency while participating in a physical agility assessment for a position within the Canine Unit. Officer Nguyen, a 25 year law enforcement veteran, was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center and on Thursday, July 5, 2018, Officer Nguyen was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic for further treatment, where he was placed on life support.
The outpouring of support from the Cleveland community and beyond has been truly amazing and greatly appreciated. Patrol Officer Vu Nguyen is greatly loved by his family and by his brothers and sisters in blue.
Tonight, our hearts are broken as we ask for your prayers for this hero who has passed away, leaving behind his wife, two daughters, an extensive family and countless friends. We respectfully ask that the family's wishes for privacy are respected and hope that you all know that we feel your love and support.
Vu Nguyen, a 20-year veteran of the force, worked in a special unit with the Third District and wanted to be a canine cop.
Temperatures were in the 90s as he performed an agility test on South Marginal Road and passed out.
“The events were sit-ups and push-ups and a mile-and-a-half run,” said David Medina with the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association. “At the mile-and-a-half run, at some point, he did collapse.”
Medina trained Nguyen and described him as a dedicated family man with two families: His blood relatives, and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement. He was also the youngest of 15 children.
“One, his immediate family, and second, the family of law enforcement,” he said. “Good overall police officer, good person, good-hearted.”
You can just see it in his smile. This was a man who clearly loved life, and that love was returned ten fold.
One of Officer Nguyen’s most notable achievements was helping to revive a 14-month old girl in early 2015 after she suffered a seizure on Cleveland’s near east side.
“We basically did our job,” Officer Nguyen said at the time. “It’s what we’re out here for is just to protect and serve and do what we can to save that baby.”
It is still not clear what caused the collapse for the officer who otherwise appeared in good health.