Essex County Sheriff’s Department Academy Recruit, 29, Dies During Training at Northern Essex

Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A 29-year-old recruit at the Essex County Sheriff’s Department’s Basic Training Academy at Northern Essex Community College died during physical fitness exercises Tuesday.

Anish Khalifa, of Woburn, started the academy in April as a member of BTA Class 20-01. He also served as a reserve officer with the Woburn Police Department since March 2019, Essex County Sheriff Kevin Coppinger said today.

“Our hearts are heavy with the unexpected passing of this fine young man,” Coppinger said. “Our training officers were with him at the time and immediately began to perform CPR and other life-saving measures, but tragically were unable to revive him. Our hearts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time.”

Each recruit undergoes a rigorous medical and physical fitness evaluation prior to the start of a Basic Training Academy. The most recent class of recruits started the 12-week Academy in April.

Academy recruits and training officers were offered grief counseling on Wednesday.

“These recruits have a deep desire to serve their community by becoming correctional officers. I know they will be mourning the loss of their friend for a long time,” Coppinger said. “I offer my condolences to the class, and to the training officers who have been working closely with this young man for several weeks. I thank them for their heroic efforts to save his life. The department will be feeling this young man’s loss for a very long time.”

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