PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Family and friends are remembering a veteran Philadelphia police captain who lost his life to COVID-19. CBS3’s Joe Holden spoke exclusively with Capt. Frank Milillo’s family today as a viewing is being held at Saint Richard’s in South Philadelphia.
Milillo is the department’s latest victim to succumb to COVID-19, making four officers who have died since the start of the pandemic.READ MORE: DA Larry Krasner Announces New Initiative To Fight Gun Violence In West/Southwest Philadelphia
An honor guard paid respect to a man the Philadelphia Police Department described as a legendary leader.
Milillo, a husband, father to three grown children, and captain of the city’s Southwest Detective Division, died Dec. 3 from COVID-19 complications.
His casket was received at Saint Paul Roman Catholic Church in the Packer Park section of South Philadelphia late Monday afternoon, where mourners will pay their respects.
Rocco Milillo fondly remembered his older brother.
“People say you either are all family or all work, Frank was family but that meant work too because his work was his family,” he said.
Capt. Milillo’s death marks the fourth from COVID-19 across the Philadelphia Police Department since the start of the pandemic.
His family said it wasn’t immediately clear how he contracted the virus, but he remained concerned about his fellow officers battling COVID, even to the end.READ MORE: WATCH: Zach Ertz Records Longest Touchdown Catch Of Career, Makes NFL History In 1st Game With Cardinals
The captain believed we would survive his brush with COVID-19.
“His family was very strong and they believed, and I think he believed knowing that he was going on the machine, he thought he was going to wake up,” Rocco Milillo said.
Colleagues and former superior officers praised Capt. Milillo’s dedication to the city and his 31 years of work as a Philadelphia officer.
The Philadelphia Police Department defines Capt. Milillo’s death as a line-of-duty death. He will have a mass of Christian burial at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul Tuesday morning. He will then be laid to rest.
MORE FROM CBSPHILLY.COMSpending In New Jersey Governor Race About Even, But Gov. Phil Murphy Banks More