By Sharon Aron Baron
While COVID-19 is without a doubt a public health crisis, it is also a public safety crisis.
According to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), they knew at the beginning of the pandemic that law enforcement officers on the front lines combating this pandemic — more than 90 percent of whom would be responding from local and State agencies — would be increasingly vulnerable to contracting the virus.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office employees are practicing enhanced hygiene practices, and are provided PPE, limiting face to face interaction to only when operationally necessary.
BSO is also employing alternatives to arrest, including notices to appear, and civil citations. Taking reports over the phone as opposed to in-person, and screening public access to BSO facilities.
COVID-19 makes no distinction between age, race, or gender. As the FOP feared, the virus has claimed the lives of many, and now includes 319 law enforcement officers from around the country.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has already lost five, including Deputy Shannon Bennett on April 3, 2020; Communications Operator III Nikima Thompson on May 4, 2020; EEO Manager Wiley Huff on August 3, 2020; Lieutenant Aldemar “Al” Rengifo on August 16, 2020; and Community Programs Supervision Specialist Pamela Ford, on September 4, 2020.
A look at states and territories in order of Covid-19 deaths of law enforcement officers.
New York 35
New Jersey 14
North Carolina 10
Puerto Rico 5
South Carolina 5
Washington DC 4
Rhode Island 1
American Samoa 0
New Hampshire 0
New Mexico 0
North Dakota 0
South Dakota 0
West Virginia 0
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- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk, and Parkland Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2011 to provide News for the residents of Tamarac and is the #1 News Source for Residents.