A veteran state trooper has died after complications related to COVID-19, the Florida Highway Patrol announced Friday.
Trooper Brian Pingry served more than seven years with the Florida Highway Patrol in Fort Myers. He worked in the agency as a Field Training Officer, which tasked him with mentoring new troopers.
“It is with great sorrow that we share the passing of one of our own — Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Brian Pingry. Trooper Pingry was a highly regarded member of the Florida Highway Patrol for more than seven years and will be truly missed by the entire Florida Highway Patrol and FLHSMV family,” said Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “We send our deepest condolences to the Pingry family — please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, COVID-19 is the leading killer of law enforcement officers in 2020 and 2021. Nationwide, more than 280 law enforcement officers have died in 2021 alone — 167 of which were from complications related to COVID-19. Gunfire is the second leading cause of death.
“Please respect the family’s wishes for privacy at this time as they grieve this devastating loss,” the agency requested in the announcement.
The Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Sheriffs Association recognize September as a month to honor the death of police officers state and nationwide.
Throughout the month, law enforcement officers are encouraged to wear black memorial bands across their badges.
Attorney General Ashley Moody described the month as an opportunity to honor the “contributions each and every one of our fallen officers has made to the safety and strength of our state.”
Roughly 80,000 law enforcement, corrections, and probation officers serve in Florida.
More information on 2021 Line of Duty deaths can be found online.
The Florida Sheriffs Association will pay respects to all fallen law enforcement officers Sunday at a Tallahassee memorial event.