By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As many as four South Florida police officers succumbed to COVID-19 over the weekend, according to City of Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Following a promotion ceremony on Monday, Chief Acevedo spoke to reporters about the increasing number of COVID cases in South Florida when he mentioned the deaths.

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“Just this past weekend, I think we had at least around four officers in the greater South Florida area that have died from COVID. So I’m praying for them and their families and hope that some good will come out of those losses,” said the chief.

Jennifer Sepot (Courtesy of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department)

One of those officers is Jennifer Sepot of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. According to FLPD, Sepot had been with the department since 2017.

Lazaro R. Febles (Courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol)

Another is Miami-based trooper Lazaro R. Febles, who according to a GoFundMe page set up by friends and co-workers, died of complications from COVID-19. Febles served more than 11 years with the Florida Highway Patrol in Troop E – Miami. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed his cause of death.

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CBS4 is still trying to confirm whether two other South Florida law enforcement officers also died of COVID-19, as stated by Chief Acevedo.

Meantime, the chief said he is encouraging police officers in his department to get vaccinated and follow the science.

“I want to continue to push to get our guys and ladies to get vaccinated,” said Acevedo who added he wants everyone to follow the science. “When I want a weather report. I don’t go to a politician. I go to the weatherman. When I get sick, I don’t go to City Hall. I don’t go to the governor’s mansion. I don’t go to the President. I don’t go to anybody but my doctor. So let’s help support one another by just following the science.”

Monday’s ceremony was held to promote one Deputy Chief of Police, one Assistant Chief, two Police Commanders, one Chief of Staff to his executive staff and two patrol sergeants.

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The newly appointment Deputy Chief is replacing fired Deputy Chief Ronald Papier who was terminated, along with his wife, Commander Nerly Papier in June for their “involvement in a non-injury vehicular crash and the administrative handling of the crash.” Team