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Five times as many police officers have died in COVID-19 shootings since the start of the pandemic | Chicago News

Coronavirus is the leading cause of death for officers, even though law enforcement is among the first groups eligible to be vaccinated at the end of 2020. (Credit: KGO)

(CNN)-Jessica Desfosses shared the last tragic text message she exchanged with her husband, a police officer, in the days before her death on COVID-19.

In a series of exchanges that began last Christmas Eve as his condition steadily worsened at a Massachusetts hospital, Stephen Desfosse said, “Commercial should take Covid seriously on television.

“Your husband [be] Whatever happened changed forever … my life blinked in front of me and it was scary, “he wrote in another message. His wife posted on Facebook last summer.

Stephen Desphos, 52, a veteran of the Norton Police Department, a detective sergeant, died on January 13. He was one of at least 231 police officers who died in COVID-19 this year. Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).

According to ODMP, 245 law enforcement agencies died in COVID-19 in 2020.

Coronavirus is the leading cause of death for officers, despite the inclusion of law enforcement agencies in the first group to be vaccinated at the end of 2020. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 476 COVID-19-related deaths have increased compared to 94. From the gunshot at the same time.

“If you’re serious about your commitment to protecting the public … and if you’re serious about your personal commitment to your family, that’s enough,” said Jessica Desfosse. He petitioned police officers to get vaccinated.

Her charm looks like this Law enforcement officers and their unions across the country are resisting vaccine obligations Despite the resurrection of COVID-19 with delta variant fuel and the effectiveness of shots in preventing severe cases and death.

Reasons cited by law enforcement officers for vaccine resistance range from disinformation to distrust of the science of vaccines.

This debate reflects growing national tensions between unions and employers as cities and businesses seek to enforce vaccine obligations.

“You are not drawn to this job. This is what you volunteer for,” said Charles Ramsey, a former Washington DC police chief and CNN law enforcement analyst. “When you work, you understand that it will require some sacrifice on your side in many different ways.”

Police union disagrees with COVID’s obligations

In Chicago Half of the police officers at the second largest police station in the country Their union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot faced unpaid leave as police officers clashed over the city’s requirement to disclose vaccine status.

Friday’s Wrightfoot accused police union President John Catanzara of trying to “induce a riot” by ordering police to ignore the deadline for reporting vaccine status.

The city complained that the union “encourages suspension of work or strikes.” Judge Cook County has ruled on Friday night that Katanzara should not issue a public statement recommending members not to comply with vaccination policy.

“We have never been involved in, supported or encouraged the suspension of work,” according to a union statement on Friday.

According to Katanzara, Chicago police officers had a deadline to reveal the vaccine status or take unpaid leave late Thursday night.

The city will check with non-compliant officers over the weekend, Wrightfoot said. She said officers should report on their obligations until their boss told them they were on vacation.

Related: Twenty-one Chicago police officers were left unpaid for violating COVID-19 vaccine obligations

Earlier this month Former president of the union He died of COVID-19 from 2014 to 2017.

In Miami, executives are resisting the mandatory vaccine. In Pittsburgh, the Delta Variant surged cases of COVID-19, and the police chief sent an email urging police to protect themselves.

In Seattle, the police station had “all non-patrol sworn personnel, detectives, training, and support staff” ready to answer emergency calls prior to Monday’s vaccination obligation deadline, Sgt said. .. Randy Fuserick, spokesman.

The Seattle Mayor’s Office said nearly 140 police officers had not been vaccinated or sought exemptions. About 320 officers have already left the army since early 2020, according to Huserick.

Seattle may begin the process of separating officers from the department after the deadline, according to police union chairman Mike Solan.

“If we lose what we think is more than 300 people for this mission, this public security crisis we are experiencing will look like a child’s play,” Solan said.

Loss of “good cop” goes home

Throughout the United States, law enforcement leaders have appealed to police officers who are hesitant to shoot. Nevertheless, many unions and their members continue to oppose.

“Clearly it’s right to get vaccinated. It’s an individual right, and I still firmly believe it,” said Dan Yancey, Oklahoma’s Owasso Police Chief. “But I certainly encourage people to do so.”

In the suburbs of Baton Rouge, Baker, Louisiana, Lieutenant Demarcus Dan died of COVID-19 last August, leaving many colleagues vaccinated.

“He lost his father at a very young age, and it was the village where he was raised,” Dan said of the officer.

“And it surprised us when we talked about good officers, good citizens, good people who are always giving back. Losing such good officers was a big blank in this department. . “

Prior to the death of the lieutenant on August 13, about 70% of police were unvaccinated. Currently, 95% of the city’s 40 police officers are being shot, according to the chief.

“What I’m trying to convey is that this pandemic replaces all kinds of political, all kinds of beliefs, and anything that hesitates to get vaccinated,” Dan said.

The National Police Union encourages vaccination but opposes the obligation.

Katanzara assembled this issue as a labor dispute.

“We will continue to fight this mission and this dictatorship,” said Katanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago, reflecting the sentiment of union leaders across the country.

“You wouldn’t think there were any crimes to worry about in this city. You wouldn’t think there were murders, robbers, or guns fired.”

At the end of last month, hundreds of Washington State Patrol employees demanded an exemption from religious and medical vaccinations the day after announcing the death of a soldier due to COVID-19.

Washington employees must be fully vaccinated by Monday. This mission affects 60,000 state personnel and 40,000 health care workers.

“We’re investing heavily in investigating and training these individuals. We don’t want to lose them as friends or because of COVID,” said Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis. Stated.

Widow gets a copy of the vaccination card

Michael Weiskov, a 52-year-old police officer in St. Petersburg, Florida, died on August 27 after fighting Covid-19 for about a month. He was an 18 year law enforcement veteran.

“This was terrible and didn’t have to happen,” said his widow, Karen Weiskov. “He was very strong. He was very healthy … he was my best friend. A perfect husband.”

Karen Weiskov said she had been vaccinated, but her husband was reluctant. She tried several times to persuade him.

“He didn’t know what was in the vaccine … Mike didn’t have all the facts, so it felt like he wasn’t vaccinated,” she said. “There’s a lot of information to move around … Science leaves the big picture. It’s talkative.”

Karen Weiskopf believes that her husband’s death served as a warning to officers who were reluctant to take other vaccines.

“To this day, I still receive the letter. I get a call,” she said. “Put a copy of the vaccination card for a stranger in your mailbox.”

Jessica Desfosses wants to turn her indescribable loss into a life-saving opportunity.

“It’s terrible to imagine raising two little girls without a dad,” she said of her deceased husband, Stephen.

“And if he had the option of giving himself that additional protection so that he could continue to serve publicly and still be able to return to his family, he would definitely have done so. “

Correction: Earlier versions of this story misspelled the name of Seattle Police Union Chairman Mike Solan.

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Five times as many police officers have died in COVID-19 shootings since the start of the pandemic | Chicago News

Source link Five times as many police officers have died in COVID-19 shootings since the start of the pandemic | Chicago News

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