COVID Biggest Cause of Police Deaths This Year

A recent poll by the National Police Foundation shows health and safety is the biggest concern of law enforcement officers who have been on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic since it began 7 months ago.

That concern is understandable. More than 100 law enforcement officers -- mainly police, sheriffs, and corrections -- have died from COVID-19 on the job this year, which is more than from gun violence, car accidents, heart attacks, or other causes, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

The nonprofit agency reported 39 officers died in both April and July, the highest numbers so far, while the numbers have declined somewhat in August and September.

County police and sheriff departments have also been impacted. Since February, 23 staff members of the 600-member sheriff’s office in Dane County, WI, tested positive, including a training deputy who died from COVID-19 in August, says Sheriff David Mahoney, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association. Two deputies were hospitalized and put on ventilators and, while recovering, are not able to work yet.