South Florida’s police and fire departments first began reporting members sick with COVID-19 on March 27th. Since then, one law enforcement officer has died, while others are home sick or waiting for test results in quarantine.
“We currently have one member that has tested positive for COVID-19, we do have 21 members that are out at this time due to possible exposure," Fort Lauderdale Fire Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan said Tuesday.
Gollan said his agency is managing and monitoring.
”We’ve got a really good hold on this, we feel,” he said. “Out of 412 personnel, to only have one [member] that’s currently out, we’re fairly happy with that.”
In Miami, Police Chief Jorge Colina said coronavirus has meant thinning out the force, but still providing the same amount of protection on city streets.
“Fortunately crime has gone down significantly, and that’s a factor because we don’t have to address a spike," Colina said.
On Tuesday, Colina counted 16 officers out sick, plus one civilian. His agency currently has 37 officers in quarantine
“If we discover an officer is positive that we proactively sent home, that essentially is a victory, because we get to take care of that officer,” he said. “And it’s not someone that we’re putting out risking the public.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Miami-Dade Police reported ten positive cases: eight officers and two civilians. The same day, the Broward Sheriff’s Office reported 72 current positive cases, with 69 being monitored, and 452 others who have already returned to duty.
Broward has also recorded South Florida’s only law enforcement death to date: Deputy Shannon Bennett died from COVID-19 on April 3rd.