Two South Florida Officers Dead After Contracting COVID-19; Fund Created

We've lost two South Florida law enforcement officers to COVID-19 over the weekend. From Broward County, Deputy Sheriff Shannon Bennett, 39, and from Palm Beach County, Sergeant Jose Diaz Ayala, 38.

At a news conference held Saturday, Sheriff Gregory Tony stated that Deputy Bennett first reported feeling sick on March 23rd before receiving a positive coronavirus result the next day. He was in the care of the hospital system by the 27th. Deputy Bennett's passing prompted a Broward nonprofit to establish a fund for the families of officers who've fallen victim to the novel coronavirus. NBC 6 reports:

The COVID-19 Victims Fund in Memory of Deputy Shannon Bennett is currently accepting donations. Funds will be handled by the nonprofit, Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council. The organization has quietly given checks to families of fallen officers since 1985. “We are all heartbroken by the tragic passing of one of our dedicated deputies,” said Edward Collins, Chairman of BSAC. “This COVID-19 crisis is touching all of us and is sure to claim even more victims.”

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