MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Family and friends gathered on Friday to remember two law enforcement officers who died from COVID-19.
A celebration of life ceremony was held for Fort Lauderdale police Officer Jennifer Sepot at the Abundant Life Church in Margate. Dozens of fellow officers saluted her flag draped coffin as her husband carried their young daughter into the church.READ MORE: New Daily Virus Cases In Florida Lowest Since July
Sepot, who lived to help people in need, was just 27 years old when she died from complications caused by COVID-19.
Her sudden death has left friends and family heart broken and in deep shock.
Several co-workers gave tearful eulogies remembering Sepot’s giving nature and deep devotion to her husband and child.
Officer David Santiago, who mentored Sepot said, “she was my little sister, and you are supposed to protect your sister.”
Sepot had been with the department since 2017.
Also Friday afternoon, a funeral service for Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Lazaro R. Febles was held at Woodlawn Park Cemetery in southwest Miami-Dade.
Febles served more than 11 years with the Florida Highway Patrol in Troop E – Miami. According to a GoFundMe page set up by friends and co-workers, he died of complications from COVID-19.READ MORE: Spacex's 1st Tourists Homeward Bound After 3 Days In Orbit
On Thursday, the Miami Beach Police Department announced the loss of officer Edward “Eddie” Perez who they said died from COVID.
Perez was a 25-year veteran of the force. He leaves behind a wife and daughter.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office, the largest policy agency in the county said on Friday they have 174 active COVID case and eight BSO employees have died since the start of the pandemic.
“It’s like trying to sweep back the ocean with a broom,” remarked El Portal Police Chief David Magnusson.
Magnusson took aim at the spiraling COVID death rate in South Florida, penning an Op Ed piece on Friday titled ‘Eradicating COVID will take a community wide effort.’
“We are a microcosm of the entire community, so you are speaking to the entire community,” he said.
While he doesn’t advocate mandatory vaccinations, Magnusson, who is the committee Chair for the Association of Miami Dade Chiefs of Police, says science should be at the center of the debate.MORE NEWS: Report: Miami-Dade School District Misused $6M For Driver’s Ed Programs
“To persuade with facts, there is a need to get vaccinated,” he said.