National Police Week honors lives of officers lost to COVID-19

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 7:49 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - COVID-19 has become the number one killer of law enforcement officers since the pandemic began. In the CSRA, we’ve lost at least eight law enforcement officials since August 1 due to the disease.

Over the last week, fallen officers around the country were recognized and remembered for their service. National Police Week is normally in May but because of the pandemic, it was postponed until this month.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 361 officers have died in the line of duty in 2020, and 231 of those deaths were from COVID-19.

The page also reports there have been nearly 500 COVID-related deaths in officers since the start of the pandemic.

COVID-19 is listed as the number one cause of death, with gunfire as the second and vehicle crashes and assaults as the third.

President Joe Biden spoke this past weekend during memorial services. He said officers have the toughest jobs, and it’s time for communities to work together to help lower crime and fight the pandemic.

”Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it has ever been. And to the families of the fallen, you have suffered an enormous loss, but understand your loss is also America’s loss. America’s loss,” he said. ”Many of those lost their lives keeping our communities safe. Serving in the front lines in those dark early days of the pandemic. Now, let us prevent the preventable tragedies.”

Vigils and memorial services were held this weekend across the nation, you can watch them all on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website and social pages.

Watch the Candlelight Vigil at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Watch the Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony.

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