More than 400 police officers nationwide lost their lives in the line of duty in 2021, and a new report says many of them died from complications of COVID-19.
According to a report from The National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, In 2021, 458 federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty.
Of the 458 deaths, 301 of them are COVID-19 related.
Officer Danny Bean with the Tulsa Police Department says even when a case is not deadly, COVID is still overwhelming the department.
"The shrinking amount of the force of the officers we have, and you still have the regular call load, not to mention that call load expands and even gets greater," Bean said.
Bean says even though TPD has taken several measures to stop the spread, the daily duties of patrol officers make it difficult.
"I don't think they can sit there and worry about that when they're on the job," Bean said.
Green Country has seen its share of officers losing their lives from COVID.
TPD's Jerad Lindsey died of COVID-19 back in October 2020.
Owasso PD has had four department members die from COVID.
Most recently, Owasso PD chaplain Daniel Holly passed away last month.
Holly's sister Jeanna Crawford told us after his death, he left a legacy that won't be forgotten.
"It just puts a smile on your face to know that your kid brother is out there serving people who a lot of people don't think of that need to be served," Crawford said.
The National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund also says the number of COVID-related deaths in 2021 was 65 percent higher than in 2020.