Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

COVID Leading Cause of Death Among Florida Law Enforcement Officers In 2021

 If a Florida law enforcement officer dies of COVID-19, and their agency finds that they contracted the virus while on duty, their name will be added to a memorial in the Capitol's courtyard.
If a Florida law enforcement officer dies of COVID-19, and their agency finds that they contracted the virus while on duty, their name will be added to a memorial in the Capitol's courtyard.

COVID-19 is killing more Florida law enforcement officers than gunfire, vehicular assault, and automobile accidents combined. Fourteen of the state's officers have succumbed to the virus so far this year.

COVID-19 is leading to the deaths of more Florida law enforcement officers than gunfire, vehicular assault, and automobile accidents combined. Fourteen of the state's officers have succumbed to the virus so far this year.

It's up to individual law enforcement agencies to figure out if those officers contracted the virus while on duty. If so, the agency can rule those as line of duty deaths, and the officers' families can get associated death benefits. That would also mean their names would be added to a memorial in the state Capitol's courtyard.

"Law enforcement officers understand their oath of service means sacrifice. Over the past 18 months, that's meant willingly exposing themselves to COVID-19 in the line of duty and potentially exposing their families when they return home," Florida Police Chiefs Association president Stephan Dembinsky said in an email statement.

The FPCA is calling on law enforcement personnel to wear mourning bands this month, and the group, along with the Florida Sheriffs Association, is designating September to "honor the service and sacrifice of Florida law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2021." That includes officers who've died with COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.