Deputy Welge joined the agency in 1999 as a corrections deputy before becoming law enforcement certified.
According to SCSO, he served with the Venice Police Department from 2001 to 2007, before rejoining the ranks of the sheriff’s office later in 2007.
Deputy Welge’s last shift was on August 19. The agency says he spent the last few weeks battling COVID-19 and succumbed to the virus on Thursday morning.
Like many first responders who have lost their life to COVID-19, Deputy Welge’s passing is recognized as a line of duty death.