ORLANDO, Fla. – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, often outspoken on crime topics, is now speaking out about the COVID-19 vaccine, encouraging others to get the shot after one of his deputies died.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Christopher Broadhead died Monday after a weekslong battle with COVID-19.
“This virus is real and it’s deadly, and Christopher is the poster child for how deadly it is. He was only 32,” Judd told WFLA-TV.
Judd said Broadhead, who served as a deputy for a decade, was healthy but did not disclose whether Broadhead had been vaccinated.
Judd, a known conservative, said he has been vaccinated.
“I encourage everyone to get the vaccination (who is) eligible. My wife and I got the vaccination on Day 1 when we were eligible,” said Judd, who does not support a vaccine mandate.
Judd urged people to listen to their doctors, not politicians, when deciding whether to get the shot.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina issued a frank message with his deputies Wednesday on social media in his continuing effort to urge his department to get vaccinated.
Mina posted a video message on Twitter asking OCSO employees to get vaccinated.
The video message comes three weeks after Orange County Deputy First Class Craig Seijos, 54, died from COVID-19. Law enforcement officers from surrounding Central Florida agencies have also lost deputies and police to the virus in recent weeks.
To my fellow law enforcement officers: Get vaccinated. Do it, so your fellow deputies and officers can honor you at your retirement, instead of commemorating you at your funeral. - @SheriffMina pic.twitter.com/VG9tAHBFwt— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) August 25, 2021
Anyone interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine can find a site at this link.
Mina is also offering employees three additional days off if they can show him they are vaccinated.