South Florida‘s law enforcement community is mourning the loss of two of its own, both dying from COVID-19.
On Saturday, Fort Lauderdale Police announced Jennifer Sepot died from complications related to the virus. She joined the department in 2017 and was assigned to road patrol.
The Florida Highway Patrol is also dealing with a Covid-related loss. Trooper Lazaro Febles, an 11 year veteran died, the department announced on Twitter Saturday.
“Above all else, Trooper Febles loved his family deeply and was a devoted husband and father. Please keep his family and team members in your thoughts and prayers,” read the statement from FHP.
Most police departments in South Florida are not requiring officers get a COVID-19 vaccine. Regardless, many police brass are strongly encouraging their officers to get the shot.
“I am going to continue to push to get our guys and ladies to get vaccinated,” said Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo.
“When I want a weather report I don’t go to a politician I go to the weatherman, when I get sick I don’t go to City Hall. I don’t go to anybody but my doctor so let’s help support one another by following the science,” he said.
The Miami Police Department, the Miami Beach Police Department and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department said they do not keep track of how many officers have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, there is no information as to how many officers have been vaccinated.
There are about 2,000 people working for the Miami-Dade Police Department, including sworn and non-sworn officers.
According to their volunteer survey, 52% said they have been vaccinated for Covid, 25% answered they had not, and 22% preferred not to answer the question.