Florida's COVID-19 surge has caused the deaths of at least five South Florida police officers over a one-week period.
Police are often the front-line pandemic workers overlooked as being at-risk, particularly as the threat of the delta variant has risen in the state. More than 17,000 individuals in the state are hospitalized with the infection as of Saturday's data from the Department of Health & Human Services.
Five South Florida police departments have reported COVID-19 deaths of officers, CNN reported:
- Coral Springs Police Sergeant Patrick Madison, a 15-year veteran Friday, Aug. 20.
- Miami Beach Police Officer Edward Perez, a 25-year veteran Thursday, Aug. 19.
- West Palm Beach Police Officer Robert Williams, a 20-year veteran Aug. 14.
- Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Lazaro R. Febles, a 12-year veteran Aug. 14.
- Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Jennifer Sepot, four-year veteran Aug. 14.
COVID-19 is the leading cause of officer deaths in the past year by a wide margin, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which attributes at least 103 having died from complications with the disease, accounting for almost 50% of the total 208 police deaths to date in 2021:
- COVID-19 103.
- Gunfire 39.
- Vehicular assault 15.
- Automobile crash 14.
- Heart attack 10.
- Struck by vehicle 10.
- Assault 4.
- Stabbed 3.
- Motorcycle crash 3.
- Duty-related illness 3.
- Drowned 2.
- 9/11-related illness 1.
- Training accident 1.
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