Gloucester Township police dispel rumor that an officer died from coronavirus

The Gloucester Township Police Department is setting the record straight that an officer did not die from COVID-19-related complications after a fake news article circulated around the internet.

News 12 Staff

Apr 7, 2020, 12:01 AM

Updated 1,467 days ago

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The Gloucester Township Police Department is setting the record straight that an officer did not die from COVID-19-related complications after a fake news article circulated around the internet.
“You click on it and the title said, ‘first Gloucester Township police officer to die from COVID-19,” Chief David Harkins says.
Harkins says that the fake article was circulating around Facebook over the weekend and that it had a photo of one of his officers.
Photos: COVID-19 Spreads Throughout the Globe
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"The officer’s family member saw the post and was very upset and called him and he called me quite upset about it,” Harkins says.
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The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the prank. But Harkins says that the department has been taking precautions for the virus for weeks. Eight officers have tested positive, with more waiting to be tested.
Harkins says that pranks like this hit hard.
“It’s happened to other police departments. There are brother and sister officers in the state that have died from COVID-19…so it’s not out of the realm,” he says.
The chief says that police have also had to break up a party over the weekend on Oak Avenue in Blackwood. He says that incidents like this put police officers at risk.
"It was approximately 30 people. We didn't count them because the officers are practicing social distancing,” Harkins says. "I don't think they were bad people however they were violating the executive order and not taking it seriously so we thought it was best to give them a warning and give them the benefit of the doubt."
Harkins says that of the eight officers who tested positive for the virus, one has recovered and is back to work. The other seven are in good condition at home.


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