The past few weeks have been marked by tragedy for law enforcement across South Florida.
Officers gone too soon, taken by COVID-19.
The latest memorial was held for Miami Beach Police Officer Edward Perez, who died from the virus on Aug. 19.
Days before that, two officers died on the same day from the virus. Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Jennifer Sepot and Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Lazaro Febles both died on Aug. 14.
Since last year, the Broward County Sheriff's Office has had eight employee deaths due to COVID, including sworn deputies and civilian employees.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has had one death along, with the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Now more than ever, law enforcement leaders are pushing for officers to get vaccinated. By October, all non-represented BSO employees will have to be fully vaccinated.
In a previous interview, Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo weighed in.
“Please follow the science,” Acevedo said. “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 the governor’s mansion. I don’t go to the president. I don’t go to anybody but my doctor.”
Acevedo also tweeted a picture of letters of condolences for the families of officers who died from COVID-19. His profile picture is a sign that reads “Get Vaccinated.”
In his tweet, he also wrote, “Let’s do our share by doing our best to keep each other safe from this deadly virus. May they RIP and may all fighting COVID recover.”
Sunrise police have also been impacted. The family of Sergeant Darwin Arroyo posted that he is on a ventilator fighting COVID-19.