South Florida police lined the streets as a massive police procession escorted the body of one of their own to her final resting place after dying from COVID-19.
According to a New York Post article, Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Jennifer Sepot is one of five Florida police officers to die from the disease in under a week as cases surge in the state.
Sepot, 27, caught COVID while on duty working as a patrol officer, the Officer Down Memorial Page website stated. COVID-19 is the number one cause of death for police officers in 2020 and 2021, and it has taken the lives of 103 officers this year.
The four-year veteran is survived by her husband and a 2-year-old daughter. It was unclear if she was vaccinated.
It was a tragic day for law enforcement in Florida as Highway Patrol Trooper Lazaro Febles also passed from complications of the disease on the same day as Sepot.
Febles, 41, was a 12-year-veteran. He was infected in the line of duty assigned to the Miami area.
West Palm Beach Police Officer Robert Williams, a 20-year-veteran with the department also died of complications related to COVID-19 the same week.
Miami Beach Police Officer Edward Perez, a 25-year veteran, unfortunately died the same week “after a battle with COVID,” his department said in a tweet.
The fifth officer to die that week was Coral Springs Police Sgt. Patrick “Pat” Madison, 43. He succumbed to COVID-related complications after a respected 15-year career. He had been promoted to supervisor of general investigations last year.
“Pat was a tremendous leader whose passion for his job was only surpassed by his commitment to his community and the citizens he served,” Chief Clyde Parry wrote.
Florida has been hit by a surge of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus, which has tallied 1,486 weekly deaths according to the Jacksonville Times Union. The state death toll has risen to above 42,000, with over 17,000 people hospitalized with a new case of the disease in August.