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some text Sgt. Joseph Montijo / Photo from the Chattanooga Police Department Facebook page

Sgt. Joseph Montijo, a 12-year veteran of the Chattanooga Police Department, died unexpectedly Friday morning in a local hospital, the department noted in a Facebook post.

"Since February 2007 I've watched Sgt. Montijo meticulously work hundreds of crime scenes," Chief David Roddy said in a statement. "He directly contributed to the arrest and prosecution of more criminals than anyone can begin to account for, brought justice to more families than we will ever know, and built relationships and friendships with more of us than we can fathom at this time."

Montijo was off duty at the time of his death, which the post attributed to a medical issue.

The Facebook post asks readers to "please keep Sgt. Montijo's family and friends in your thoughts as they move through the difficult time ahead of them."

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