SAN ANTONIO — There are new details in the death of a Bexar County cadet who died on the first day of training.
The medical examiner said 59-year-old Kevin Reaux's cause of death had to do with a hardening of the arteries. However, his death is raising questions over the Bexar County Sheriff's Office campaign to recruit baby boomers.
Family friend Lisa Gibson said the single father was healthy and looking forward to wearing the badge.
"I think the world is going to be a dimmer place," Gibson said.
Gibson is feeling the loss of her friend of more than 20 years. Reaux died Monday. His first day as a cadet with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. BCSO said he had a medical episode.
"I said, 'Oh my God.' I rushed to the hospital," she said.
But it was too late. The 59-year-old didn't make it. Gibson had spoken with Reaux the night before. He had been training for this moment and was looking forward to serving his community.
"He said Lisa, I got the job. I am starting. I am so hyped. I am so excited," Gibson said.
Reaux leaves behind two daughters both in their 20's and grandchildren. His loved ones are stunned by his sudden death.
"He walked. He ran. He was active. It is a huge shock. We had no idea he had any kind of underlying illnesses."
His death comes as BCSO is looking to hire older people calling it the 'Boomer Campaign.' In an October post from the sheriff's it said, 'Boomers Wanted.' It goes on to say BCSO hires as young as 18-years-old and does not have a max age limit.
BCSO said: "We are specifically targeting an older generation who may have been turned away from other professions due to their age or who may simply want to come out of retirement and begin their second or possibly third career."
"In my opinion, I think if someone if physically fit to do the job we shouldn't discriminate based on their age," Gibson said.
Sheriff Javier Salazar told KENS 5 given Reaux's death the recruitment of 'baby boomers' won't change. But he said on the medical side of things they are exploring options.
"We are going to reevaluate the way we do things, but I don't think we will be putting an age cutoff on our recruitment," Salazar said. We need to look at do we subject certain applicants to maybe an EKG test. Does that become cost-prohibited, is it age discrimination if I say you are 40 and above, I am going to have to send you to an EKG. Do I want to spend a bunch of money and send 18-year-olds to an EKG. We are going to have to look at the whole thing."
The sheriff said the physical test Reaux took to get into BCSO was a lot harder than the training day he had on Monday.
"I don't think it was a matter of him looking unhealthy or giving us reason for concern," he said. He seemed to be in pretty decent health for a 59-year-old male."