At least 101 officers have lost the battle against covid-19, already the leading cause of death this year in police departments and federal units. It is expected to go above and over the casualties recorded by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.
Jorge Cabrera added 12 years in the Mission Police, a small town on the Texas-Mexico border, when he became coronavirus. At some point he was admitted to a hospital, but died on August 24. That night, over a mile, several patrols escorted the chariot carrying his body to the funeral home where he was cared for. He was 42.
“We lost another hero. Officer Jorge Cabrera will forever be remembered for his bright and contagious smile, and for his willingness to serve and help others,” the City of Mission said as he posted on his Facebook page a video he made to honor his 416th agent.
Farewell ceremonies like the one Cabrera received in South Texas have been repeated at least 100 times in 21 states in the country this year. These officers lost their lives due to covid-19-related complications, according to two organizations that record the deaths of municipal police, sheriffs, elements of federal agencies, and prison officers.
Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) states that there are already 101 deaths from that cause. While the National Fund in Remoirs of Law Enforcement Officers (NLEOMF) lists 111 deaths.
Both counts lead to a macabre conclusion: more cops have lost their lives this year because of the coronavirus than in shootings and attacks in America’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
ODMP indicates that another 82 officers died for various reasons. Of these, at least 31 died from gunfire, the second most searched cause of their website. The organization tries to check if about 150 police officers became infected with covid-19 when they were on duty and never healed.
“Law enforcement officers are highly vulnerable to contracting the covid-19 virus,” warns NLEOMF, which cites the case of Officer Jorge Cabrera of the Mission Police as the most recent.
In fact, this group indicates that there were at least 26 similar cases in Texas, with the state being the lowest. He is followed by Louisiana (13), Florida (10), California (9), Illinois (8), New Jersey (8), New York (5), Pennsylvania (3) and Mississippi (3). In total, 21 states have lost at least one policeman.
Jessica Rushing, spokesman for the Official Down Memorial Page, told CNN that the number of pandemic victims is expected to even exceed the end of the year of the deaths due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A total of 383 agents were killed when the Twin Towers fell in Manhattan, in the attack in Pennsylvania and from cancer contracted in subsequent rescue and surveillance efforts.
“Based on the number of Covid cases we receive each day, we believe it is very possible and even likely that the coronavirus will exceed September 11 as the unique incident with the highest number of dead in the country,” Rushing said in the same way.
Last year, 135 U.S. policemen were killed on duty. Over the past decade, 1,627 agents died in the line of duty, an average of one drop every 54 hours or 163 each year.