APOA - Op Ed Daniel Stuebs

Police Officer Deaths Due to Covid-19

In these times of COVID-19, most of the news is dominated by the deaths of those people who have died. Police officers make up a staggering number of those that have died from the deadly virus. It is currently up for debate by politicians on whether to classify officers who have died to COVID-19 as LODDs (line of duty deaths). It is very unfortunate that those officers who have died got caught up in the political debate on how to classify a death due to COVID-19 and that their benefits are in debate.  

Lawofficer.com has a running tally of the officers who have died due to COVID-19. At the moment, the officer death tally is 106, but that number will most likely continue to grow. We must continue to be vigilant; this list could continue to grow as time goes on. Law enforcement officers are out there on the front lines of this pandemic. Some cities are using them to help enforce the social distancing measures. By enforcing these measures, many of these officers are put at extra risk of getting infected with this virus.  

There is a current debate on whether to classify officer deaths due to COVID-19 as line of duty deaths. The main debate on whether to classify the death due to COVID-19 is how the officer contracted the disease. It is understandable to want the documentation on when the officer contracted the disease, did the officer get infected when on duty or when the officer was off duty. The officer down memorial page has an entire list for inclusion and exclusion for LODDs. The problem with COVID-19 is how infectious it is. The main debate is on when the officer contracted the disease while on duty or off duty.  

These officer deaths are very difficult to classify. The good news is that they will be classified as LODDs with the proper documentation. These officers are still putting their lives on the line and paying the consequences. They must deal with the invisible threat of viruses. It is our job as citizens to help our officers deal with the virus as well. Whether we help them by giving them proper medical equipment or following social distancing guidelines in COVID-19 hot spots. They are part of our community as well.  

In this coronavirus pandemic, essential workers are still attending work at a massive risk to themselves. One essential group that is often forgotten about are 911 dispatchers. They are not law enforcement, but definitely work in tandem with them and are very important to public safety. Read more here.

American Police Officers Alliance