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A record number of Tenn. Police Officers died last year, nearly all died of COVID-19

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(Mike Osborne) — Nineteen new names were added this week to Tennessee’s Memorial to fallen Law Enforcement Officers. Nearly all were victims of COVID-19.

Local media outlets report the state chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police added the names to the memorial plaque on Legislative Plaza Tuesday. The officers died in 2020 and 2021.

The Officer Down Memorial Page reports 16 of the 19 officers died due to complications from COVID-19. Two more died in traffic accidents. Just one was killed as a result of criminal activity.

Gov. Bill Lee was on hand to honor the fallen officers. This past year Lee made national headlines when he offered financial incentives to officers fed up with COVID-19 restrictions in their home states and willing to take a job with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.