PENNSYLVANIA, USA — COVID-19 is the No. 1 killer of law enforcement officers in 2020 and 2021, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The National Fraternal Order of Police lists the total number of in the line of duty COVID-19 deaths as of October 11, 2021 as 724.
The same FOP report claims 18 of those deaths occurred in Pennsylvania.
The FOP called COVID-19 a "public safety crisis."
Read the FOP report here.
Read the FOP's stance on vaccinations.
View the FOP's coronavirus website.
It said the FOP "knew at the beginning of the pandemic that law enforcement officers on the front lines combating this pandemic—more than 90% of whom will be responding from local and State agencies—would be increasingly vulnerable to contracting the virus. COVID-19 makes no distinction between age, race or gender. As we had feared, the virus has claimed the lives of many, and now includes a growing number of law enforcement officers."
The Officer Down Memorial Page writes, "getting vaccinated is just as important as wearing your vest and your seatbelt. Don't wait any longer, please consult your doctor to see if vaccination is right for you."
A Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson said PSP knows of at least one enlisted member who was COVID-19 positive at the time of their death. PSP does encourage personnel to get vaccinated.
In a statement, PA State Police writes: "Throughout the pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 on Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) staffing remained manageable, and day-to-day operations suffered minimal impact. This is partly due to the Department’s early implementation of our incident management team to assist in managing all aspects of our pandemic preparedness efforts. In addition, consistent efforts of department personnel to follow CDC/DOH recommendations, which include social distancing when possible, keeping work areas disinfected, wearing masks when appropriate, and monitoring for potential symptoms of COVID-19, have allowed us to continue providing vital public safety services."