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Pandemic claiming an alarming number of law enforcement officer lives

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Pandemic Claiming an alarming number of Law Enforcement Officer Lives

BELOIT (WKOW) -- This pandemic is proving deadly for those on the front lines; a growing number of police officers have lost their lives to COVID-19 like Officer Daniel Daly, a 24-year veteran with the city of Beloit Police Department.

"Dan Daly was very meticulous with his work. He went the extra mile to do a lot of things. Dan had valuable information for our young officers, our middle-of-the-road officers, and our elder officers. He had no problem sharing that information with everyone," said Beloit Police Chief Andre Sayles.

Unfortunately, officer funerals have occurred more and more during the pandemic because more officers are dying from COVID-19 than gunfire.

The National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOFM) reported:

  • In 2019 - 0 COVID-19 deaths (pandemic began in 2020) and 51 officers shot
  • In 2020 - 182 COVID-19-related deaths and 45 officers were shot 
  • In 2021 - officials say the number of COVID-19-related officer deaths is set to surpass last year's.

"It's unfortunate that we have the number of people that are losing their life due to the virus and then also people losing their lives by felonious acts," said Chief Sayles.

"We have in 2021, 233 cases in our pipeline, that we are reviewing that are considered COVID cases and unfortunately, they continue to go up," said Marcia Ferranto, Chief Executive Officer for (NLEOFM).

The number of COVID-19-related deaths is also increasing in Wisconsin:

  • In 2020, there was one officer death Dane County Deputy Sheriff Rick Treadwell (EOW: August 22, 2020)
  • So far in 2021, the coronavirus has claimed three officer lives:
    • Fond du Lac Officer Joseph Kurer (EOW: September 22, 2021)
    • Wisconsin State Trooper Daniel Stainbrook (EOW: November 15, 2021)
    • Beloit Police Officer Daniel Daly (EOW: November 15, 2021).

"We do have a thankless job and we go out every day and we will run towards the things that certain people run away from," said Chief Sayles.

"These men and women in law enforcement, they don't have the privilege to stay at home and to shelter in place," said Ferranto.

Officials say they hope to see the number of officer deaths decrease, especially with further rollout of the vaccine.

"The vaccine really did not become available for all of us until 2021, but we're hoping to see this trend slow. 2021 is one of the deadliest years in law enforcement history," said Ferranto.

A visitation of remembrance for Officer Daly will be held this upcoming Tuesday, November 23 in Beloit.

A funeral service will be held the following day.