The Fraternal Order of Police boasts that it proudly supports over 364,000 police officers nationwide.
One look at the FOPs social media pages and the overwhelming statistics in red-alert style graphics screams daily totals of gunfire deaths and ambush cries.
But, you know what’s killing three times the number of law enforcement officers as gunfire in the last two years?
The Officer Down Memorial Page has documented 241 law enforcement line of duty deaths to Covid19 (45 gunfire deaths) in 2020 and 107 Covid deaths (39 gunfire) so far this year.
So, why is the FOP maintaining the gunfire focus? Why is the hype continuing on gun deaths, while a contagious virus is killing hundreds of cops a year?
Could it be naked politics? That would be shameful. Because a special interest group that exists to protect cops should only have one primary position: Protecting the lives of their members. I appreciate the #stopthevirus hashtag, but a real acknowledgement of the number of deaths would be better.
But, sadly, it’s not just downplaying the Covid threat. This week, while law enforcement in South Florida saw the deaths of seven law enforcement professionals in the middle of a senseless spike in Covid19 cases because of politics. Miami’s Chief, Art Acevedo, announced that he wants to mandate vaccines for all his officers to save their lives. One would think the FOP would fully support vaccines to stop a virus that is ravaging its members.
The Miami FOP chapter didn’t just stay silent, they wrote a sad, politically motivated letter that might have originated in some political troll farm. The Miami FOP President spouted “freedom” and “liberty” and called the Chief reprehensible for taking a hardline stand for saving lives.
I wonder what other departmental directives the FOP thinks their membership should ignore? Can agencies require officers to qualify with their firearms? Wear a seatbelt? Obey speed limits? Fitness requirements? (At my agency, we all got Hepatitis vaccines years ago and I didn’t hear anybody screaming about their freedoms.)
All of these directives are designed for officers’ wellness & safety, so how is a vaccine any different?
I wish the FOP cared about cops the way they claim. Because if they did, they would stop siding with politicians who put cops at risk to score political points.
They would recognize that covid 19 is far and away the #1 cop killer for the past two years running and start educating members about the science of vaccines and encourage them to get vaccinated. (A flashing red-light graphic for police Covid19 deaths would be a nice touch.)
Instead, they shamelessly spew the falsehoods in the name of some ridiculous notion of freedom when it really means the freedom to contract a virus 3x’s as deadly to cops as gunfire. If 240 cops were shot in the line of duty, my FOP friends, you would be screaming for all to hear on every network and every platform, and I would be right there with you.
I know the FOP sees the LOD death data, because they consistently post about the number of officers lost and use those numbers to (ostensibly) generate support for cops. The problem is they use the generic officer down data numbers to drive the war-on-cops narrative, and it’s not keeping any cops safe.
In fact, by ignoring the plain and simple truth that Covid19 is the far and away deadliest threat to every cop—the cops you are supposed to represent—you are endangering their lives. The only people you are helping is the politicians who have made this public health issue a political fight. And you’re going along with them while your members are dying in record numbers.
Here’s an idea: Make saving cops from Covid19 a condition of the next FOP campaign endorsement. Until then, let’s follow the Officer Down Page and have a bright red warning that says:
COVID is the #1 killer of LEOs in 2020 & 2021. Getting vaccinated is just as important as wearing your vest and your seatbelt. Don’t wait any longer, please get vaccinated today to protect yourself, your family, and your fellow officers.Tweet
That would save lives.
Be safe, friends.