More South Florida officers have died from COVID-19 than gunfire in past two years


More law enforcement officers have died from complications from COVID-19 than from gunfire in the past two years, according to data compiled by The Associated Press.

Thirty-three officers have died in the past two years, including 28 from COVID-19. Three other people were shot dead, one was killed in a car crash and another died from a work-related injury, according to the press service.

Forces affected by the coronavirus included those in Miami and West Palm Beach as well as prison officers and customs and border protection officers in the region. Most of those who died were between 40 and 50, according to the outlet, and the majority were white or Hispanic males.

Fifty-three state law enforcement officials have died from the virus.

“More cops will die from COVID than they are shot, stabbed or killed in traffic accidents. And it’s an equal opportunity killer, ”said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, according to the AP.

But COVID-19 has been a problem for police departments and law enforcement agencies across the United States. Officer Down Memorial Page, a website dedicated to the memory of officers who die each year, illness was responsible for the majority of officer deaths in 2021.

According to the site, 469 officers have died in the line of duty so far this year. Of these officers, 316 died from COVID-19. The second most common cause of death was gunfire, with 58 officers killed. The third leading cause of death was car accident (20).

At the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus had a severe impact on law enforcement, affecting staff operations. According to the AP, before vaccines, it was not uncommon for some departments in South Florida to lack 10 percent of their sworn staff on illness or quarantine.

At one point in 2020, the New York Police Department had more than 1,400 officers testing positive for the virus.

The outlet reported that the story data was combined using press releases from different departments as well as data from the Officer Down memorial page.

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