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El Portal Police Chief trying to better educate his unvaccinated officers

The head of a South Florida police department wants his officers to be safe and get vaccinated.
The head of a South Florida police department wants his officers to be safe and get vaccinated.

EL PORTAL, Fla. – The head of a South Florida police department wants his officers to be safe and get vaccinated.

El Portal Police Chief David Magnusson said he’s trying to use science to persuade officers to get vaccinated.

“Somewhere along the way, things went off the rails with misinformation,” Magnusson said.

The chief, who also chairs the Miami-Dade County Association of Police Chiefs (MDCACP) COVID-19 committee, said just five of the 20 officers in his small department have received a vaccine.

He said law enforcement departments are often microcosms of the communities they serve.

In a letter to MDCACP, he wrote: “We are going to have more people in the hospital and more people on ventilators. We are going to have people die. And a percentage of that will come from our officers.”

Magnusson said he’s been scouring medical journals for information, like a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine which tours the efficacy of vaccines against the new Delta variant.

“People will find excuses to say they don’t want to have it. Whereas science, on the other hand, is telling you in facts,” he said. “I respect people’s opinion. It’s a decision you have to make.”


About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.