News

Police push to be vaccinated as Cincinnati mourns deputy who died of COVID-19 complications


As police officers across Ohio and the state's top cop continue to push for police officers to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations, the Greater Cincinnati area is mourning the loss of a sheriff's deputy who died after contracting the virus.Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy Donald Gilreath III died Friday from COVID-19 complications after working in the jail through the pandemic, according to the sheriff's office. Gilreath was a 15-year veteran of the department, a husband and father of three. "Police officers can't work from home. They don't have the option of socially distancing," said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. "Governor, act. We need this done now."Yost pointed out that in 2020, coronavirus was the leading cause of death among law enforcement. He has been publicly and privately pressing the governor on the issue for weeks and even sent him a formal letter in January."It's important to get the schools open again. I get that, but we've got teachers that have been vaccinated that haven't been on the job at school all year, not in contact with people," Yost said. "It seems to me that if you've got a job that requires you to be out in public interacting with people who may be infected that they maybe ought to be a higher priority."The Cincinnati Police Department, the largest in Hamilton County, was unable to provide the number of officers who have contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic. The department did say that 240 have taken administrative leave due to COVID-19 issues, including infections and quarantines. The department's FOP President, Dan Hils, said dozens of officers have contracted the virus and some have been hospitalized. He said unlike many other professions, police officers often have other more pressing safety concerns than taking the time to put on personal protective equipment."We have other tactical concerns... We might be worried about being harmed in another way," he said. "Unlike teachers, there's no way we can Zoom call into a family in trouble. We can't Zoom call into a bank robbery in progress."WLWT reached out to the governor's office Friday evening. The press secretary sent the office's condolences to Gilreath's family and the entire Hamilton County sheriff's office.The press secretary said law enforcement makes an extremely compelling case as to why police should be vaccinated next and that news like that of Gilreath's death makes the case even more compelling. However, the governor's office said it comes down to a supply and demand issue and it is prioritizing those most vulnerable and at-risk, namely older Ohioans.When asked how educators fit into that, the governor's office spokesman said the decision to vaccinate teachers and school staff was not a risk-based decision but instead a decision to help another vulnerable population, children, by ensuring a safe return to the classroom.

As police officers across Ohio and the state's top cop continue to push for police officers to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations, the Greater Cincinnati area is mourning the loss of a sheriff's deputy who died after contracting the virus.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy Donald Gilreath III died Friday from COVID-19 complications after working in the jail through the pandemic, according to the sheriff's office. Gilreath was a 15-year veteran of the department, a husband and father of three.

"Police officers can't work from home. They don't have the option of socially distancing," said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. "Governor, act. We need this done now."

Yost pointed out that in 2020, coronavirus was the leading cause of death among law enforcement. He has been publicly and privately pressing the governor on the issue for weeks and even sent him a formal letter in January.

"It's important to get the schools open again. I get that, but we've got teachers that have been vaccinated that haven't been on the job at school all year, not in contact with people," Yost said. "It seems to me that if you've got a job that requires you to be out in public interacting with people who may be infected that they maybe ought to be a higher priority."

The Cincinnati Police Department, the largest in Hamilton County, was unable to provide the number of officers who have contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic. The department did say that 240 have taken administrative leave due to COVID-19 issues, including infections and quarantines.

The department's FOP President, Dan Hils, said dozens of officers have contracted the virus and some have been hospitalized. He said unlike many other professions, police officers often have other more pressing safety concerns than taking the time to put on personal protective equipment.

"We have other tactical concerns... We might be worried about being harmed in another way," he said. "Unlike teachers, there's no way we can Zoom call into a family in trouble. We can't Zoom call into a bank robbery in progress."

WLWT reached out to the governor's office Friday evening. The press secretary sent the office's condolences to Gilreath's family and the entire Hamilton County sheriff's office.

The press secretary said law enforcement makes an extremely compelling case as to why police should be vaccinated next and that news like that of Gilreath's death makes the case even more compelling. However, the governor's office said it comes down to a supply and demand issue and it is prioritizing those most vulnerable and at-risk, namely older Ohioans.

When asked how educators fit into that, the governor's office spokesman said the decision to vaccinate teachers and school staff was not a risk-based decision but instead a decision to help another vulnerable population, children, by ensuring a safe return to the classroom.


Source link

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button