The Broward Sheriff's Office held a memorial service Tuesday to honor nine employees who have died from COVID-19.
The service, held at The Faith Center in Sunrise, honored the legacies of the workers, who include deputies and employees who worked behind the scenes.
Pastor Darren Bennett was among the family members who attended the event. His brother, Deputy Shannon Bennett, a school resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary, was Florida's first law enforcement death due to the coronavirus.
"One thing I have in common with everyone in today's front row is that none of us really wanted to be here today," Pastor Bennett said.
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Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said more than 3,700 of his employees have been exposed to COVID-19, and more than 1,800 have contracted the virus.
"For every single time that occurs, we worry about, are we gonna lose number ten," Tony said.
Tony delivered folded flags to the families and offered encouraging words to those still working amid the pandemic.
"Stay focused guys, we're not out of this yet, we're still battling but the successes we've had over the last year and a half have come because we have been able to unite under conflict but not divide," he said.
The nine BSO employees who were honored are:
Deputy Shannon Bennett
Communications Operator Nikima Thompson
Equal Employment Opportunity Manager Wiley Huff
Lt. Aldemar Rengifo Jr.
Community Programs Supervision Specialist Pamela Ford
Detention Aide Stephen Adams
Sgt. Shane Owens
Court Bailiff Edwin Sanchez
Confinement Status Specialist Tasha Blackwood