BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Mourners held a vigil Monday night for Bakersfield police Det. Kevin Hock who died of complications from Valley fever.
Det. Hock’s family joined fellow officers and community members to remember the man who dedicated his life to public service.
Hock joined the department in 1993 and became a full-time police officer two years later.
“I’ve had the urge today to just sit down and cry and I’ve kind of fought it back to just be strong for Kevin and be strong for Patty and Jared and strong for the family and obviously strong for us as a family here at BPD, but it’s hard,” Bakersfield police Sgt. Chris Feola said.
“It’s a guy that I’ve chewed dirt together. We’ve run miles together and we’ve hung out, and it’s surreal to believe he’s gone.”
Hock’s aunt, Sharon Boen, said he had been treated for Valley fever in the past and recovered, but this time around, it was so much worse.
“This evening was a great way to memorialize him and all of the other police officers and to bring awareness of Valley fever also,” she said.
“That’s what we’ve been talking about how severe Valley fever is in this valley, and I don’t believe people in the Valley know how serious it really is.”
Hock’s family said they had just bought a home in Tehachapi where they could run an animal rescue.
Det. Kevin Hock is survived by his wife and son.