ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A 52-year-old St. Petersburg police officer has died due to complications from COVID-19, the department said Friday.
Officer Michael Weiskopf died at Bayfront Health Friday morning, marking the latest Tampa Bay officer to die after contracting the virus.
Dozens of St. Petersburg police officers and employees stood outside the police department Friday as a police procession escorted Weiskopf’s body to a funeral home from the hospital.
Sergeant Michael Shade Weiskopf was the first one into the station every morning. The two worked together for 17 years.
“Mike was a person who would give you the shirt off his back,” Shade said. “It’s going to be a big hit, it’s going to take us a while to get over this one.”
Weiskopf joined the department in 2003. He was part of the Traffic Section Crash Investigation Unit.
“He was very detailed, if he got on a scene you know it was going to be done correctly,” Police Chief Anthony Holloway said.
Police Chief Anthony Holloway says Weiskopf was not vaccinated. He says while Weiskopf was in the hospital, many officers started to get the vaccine. He hopes that continues following this tragedy.
“His wife, the police department has to go through this, so I’m telling the officers and deputies, do this please, if you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your family and coworkers, but you need to get vaccinated,” Holloway said.
Shade says he also has been in talks with Weiskopf’s wife.
“She wanted to emphasize to people get vaccinated,” Shade said. “She doesn’t want people to go through what’s she went through the last month, and now this tragedy.”
Sun Coast Law Enforcement Charities, Inc. is accepting donations for his family on its website.
Weiskopf is the third law enforcement officer to die from COVID-19 this week. On Monday, Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Christopher Broadhead died following a weeks-long battle with the virus. On Thursday, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office announced the death of Deputy Douglas Clark, 67.
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