First Sergeant Joseph G. Portaro West Virginia State Police, West Virginia End of Watch: Monday, March 14, 2016

First Sergeant Joseph G. Portaro | West Virginia State Police, West VirginiaWest Virginia State Police, West Virginia

First Sergeant Joseph G. Portaro

West Virginia State Police, West Virginia
End of Watch: Monday, March 14, 2016

Biographical Info

Age: 50
Tour of Duty: 17 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Heart attack
Date of Incident: March 14, 2016
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Agency Contact Information

Colonel Jay Smithers
West Virginia State Police
725 Jefferson Road
South Charleston, WV 25309
Phone: (304) 746-2100

First Sergeant Joseph Portaro suffered a medical emergency while participating in a physical fitness run near the West Virginia State Police Academy, where he served as the Deputy Director of Training.
He was transported to Thomas Memorial Hospital where he passed away.
Sergeant Portaro had served with the West Virginia State Police for 17 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.

INSTITUTE, W.Va. — A 17-year veteran of the West Virginia State Police died Monday morning following a physical fitness routine at the State Police Academy in Institute.

First Sergeant Joseph Portaro died a short time after the incident, WVSP Spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous said.

“He was doing some physical fitness, which is part of what he does at the academy. He had some kind of medical emergency,” Baylous said.

Portaro, 50, was pronounced dead at Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston.

The Clarksburg native enlisted with the state police in October 1998. His first assignment was to the detachment in Kingwood, Baylous said.

“He did a great job up there. He had a lot of friends in the community.”

Portaro was assigned as Staff Officer at the Academy in 2008. He moved his way up to deputy director of training.

The WVSP is a 700-member family and the news was tough to receive, Baylous said.

“We typically end up knowing each other very well so this hits each one of us pretty hard and especially with him being at the Academy, his reach extended beyond the West Virginia State Police. He was having interaction with all officers who would come through the Academy,” Baylous said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued the following statement Monday afternoon:

Tomblin statement:

“Joanne and I extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of West Virginia State Police First Sergeant Joseph G. Portaro and our state’s law enforcement community as they mourn the tragic loss of one of their own. We ask all West Virginians to join us as we remember the sacrifices our law enforcement officers make, and keep them in our thoughts they work to keep us safe.

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