Beloved Georgia Tech officer loses battle with COVID-19

Officer James Cornacchia with Buzz on the sidelines of Historic Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium. (Georgia Tech Police Department)

A beloved officer on the Georgia Tech police force has lost his battle with COVID-19, officials said.

Officer James Cornacchia, a 20-year veteran of the Georgia Tech Police Department, died on Monday, the university posted Thursday on Facebook. Cornacchia worked in the patrol unit and always said his favorite part of the job was interacting with the students.

“Officer Cornacchia was a valued member of the Georgia Tech community and will be sorely missed,” the university wrote in a statement released Thursday.

The 42-year-old was a loving father, husband, brother, son, and friend. He believed in family, duty, and honor and tried to pass those traits on to the next generation, especially his three young boys, Sal, Gio, and Vinny, by volunteering over the last decade as a cub master for the Cub Scouts den and an assistant scout manager for a Boy Scout troop. He didn’t just believe in the scouting values but lived them every day while on patrol.

Officer Cornacchia is survived by his wife, Christal, who is also battling the coronavirus. He also leaves behind his father Chet, mother Diana, twin brother Joseph and his older brothers Anthony and Brian.

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Officer James Cornacchia during his patrol shift on the campus of Georgia Tech. (Georgia Tech Police Department)

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University officials said Officer Cornacchia had not been on campus for several weeks prior to being diagnosed. Members of the Georgia Tech Police Department were tested and continue to practice social distancing rules and abide by the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help offset medical bills, funeral expenses, and to help his family during this time. Anyone who would like to donate can go to

Information on the coronavirus outbreak as it related to the Georgia Tech community can be found at

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