SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A San Jose Police Department officer died suddenly in March, KRON4 reported last month. 24-year-old DeJon Packer was found dead in his Milpitas home on Sunday March 13.
The cause of Packer’s death is linked to substance abuse, the department said in a statement released Saturday. It is confirmed to be from “fentanyl toxicity.”
San Jose police said the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed his cause of death, but the full details are still under investigation. The Milpitas Police Department will also assist in this investigation.
“Any allegation of illegal drug use by a San Jose Police Officer is concerning,” San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said in a statement. “There are no free passes for police Officers, and we will not make excuses. When an Officer violates the public trust, on or off duty, I will hold them accountable.”
According to the statement, a police officer deals with or is exposed to an average of three traumatic experiences for every six months of service. San Jose police said they have programs to help staff with overall wellness as “officer wellness is paramount and a priority at our agency.”
Packer completed his final season as a student-athlete at San Jose State in 2019. He rushed for 13 touchdowns and 931 yards during his collegiate career as a Spartan.
This is a developing story as KRON4 will update this story as we learn more about this investigation.
Bay City News contributed to this report.