Ad Spot

TURES COLUMN: Doing our part to protect police officers from COVID-19

When I was a college student, my friends and I went to see “Lethal Weapon 3,” which covered the scourge of “cop killer” bullets, capable of penetrating the bulletproof vests of police officers.  There’s a new cop killer out over the last two years: COVID-19.  It’s taking out more officers than anything else out there. As of the writing of this, five South Florida officers died of COVID-19, and they aren’t even in the dataset.

I got my data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund or NLEOMF.

“Of the 155 confirmed law enforcement line of-duty deaths from January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021, COVID-19-related fatalities were the leading cause of law enforcement deaths. Seventy-one officers succumbed to the disease in the first half of 2021.”

And the NLEOMF and its COVID-19 Task Force fear the number may actually be much higher, and are coordinating with a host of law enforcement officials to gather more data.

One of the only bright spots here is that these 71 deaths represent a 7% decrease over the number of coronavirus deaths from last year.

Given COVID-19 hit hard from March through June, as opposed to a full year (January-June), this is probably success with the vaccine program, as well as more recognition of the problem, rather than denying its existence (though some still do this).

Just so you know how serious this is, the deaths from just January-June for 2020 and for January-June of 2021 alone (not counting July-December 2020), which have been put in the “Other Category” for officer fatality, exceed all “other cause” deaths for law enforcement from the 1970s through 2019, combined.

These deaths were not evenly distributed across the country, either.  Georgia and Texas had the highest number of police fatalities due to COVID, followed by Florida and California. But there were 29 states and DC did not have a single COVID-19 related fatality.

I bet I know what you’re thinking: it’s simply because some of those high death states for the police simply had so many officers.

But Illinois, which didn’t have a single police coronavirus fatality, is a populous state. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Missouri, and Arizona have double-digit Electoral College votes, and no police COVID-19 deaths. 

Sure, most states without an officer dying of COVID-19 are blue states (Oregon, Nevada, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon, Hawaii and New Mexico) but some are red states too, from the Plains States to the Rocky Mountain region to Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. Then again, Kentucky and Louisiana have Democratic Governors with tough anti-COVID-19 measures.

You’re probably wondering “What can I do if I think ‘Blue Lives Matter?’” Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask would be a good start. But not sharing conspiracy theory articles, pseudo-science research, and memes which lead to vaccine hesitancy, would also help.

If you don’t support defunding the police, why don’t you also oppose “depopulating the police?”

News

LaGrange woman wins new car in charity drawing

News

Family honors child’s memory with birthday party/toy drive

News

Man arrested for drug trafficking, attempting to elude officers

News

County puts out bids for Griggs Recreation Center renovation

Features

10-year-old learns ups and downs of running her own business

News

District 5 Commissioner candidates share hopes, ideas to better community

News

Stores in Troup Countycited for selling alcohol to minors

News

Thomas County Central hands Callaway first loss of the year

News

18-year-old arrested after bringing gun to campus on Tuesday

News

Leaders discuss career center, Option B services at meeting

News

TCSS board members agree to continue mask policy for now

News

LaGrange to join U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for trash pickup

News

Troup County All-Stars honored for big win

News

Lafayette Theatre Company to present Steel Magnolias

News

County may consider vaccine incentive program for county employees

News

Sheriff’s Office dispels Callaway High gun rumor

News

OUR VIEW: Where did the flu go? We might find out if enough don’t get influenza shots

News

Hogansville approves grant submission for ATV trail

Features

The Mind Clothing owner to be featured in GPB education special

News

Two Hogansville businesses celebrate openings, success, over weekend

News

COVID update: Wellstar caring for 56 patients

News

18-year-old arrested for having gun in school zone

News

Sweetland sees big crowd for Boyz II Men

News

Bikers ride from Newnan to LaGrange, raise money for Casey’s Cure