A Nassau County police officer has died of the coronavirus — which for the second year in a row is the leading line-of-duty killer of police officers in the United States.
Charles "Chuck" Vroom, who was on the county police force for 17 years and had been assigned to the Williston Park-based Third Precinct, died Sept. 12, according to a tweet from his labor union, the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association. Vroom is survived by his son, Sean.
The Nassau County Police Department posted on Twitter about the death.
"The #NassauCountyPD mourns the loss of P.O. Charles C. Vroom IV, who died from complications of COVID-19 sustained in the line of duty," the tweet read. "P.O. Vroom had been with the Dept. since 2004... Our thoughts are with his family. We will never forget his service."
A fundthefirst.com campaign, a crowdfunding website for first responders and others, says Vroom began his policing career with the NYPD and "spent many hours down at Ground Zero assisting in the recovery efforts."
So far, 222 donors have given $22,900 through the site to help cover costs of his funeral scheduled for Monday.
A funeral Mass is at 10 a.m. at the O.B. Davis Funeral Homes, 1001 Route 25A in Miller Place, the Nassau police department wrote in a news release.
The Suffolk County Police Department said it is closing Route 25A in Miller Place in both directions between North Country Road and Radio Avenue from 8:30 a.m. until about noon for the rites.
According to a National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s report, as of June 30, the virus was, for the second year in a row, the top killer of police officers in the U.S.
"The first six months of this year have demonstrated that America’s law enforcement officers are still battling the deadly effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some 71 officers dying as a result of contracting the disease while executing official duties," the report says. There were 76 such deaths over the same period in 2020. In total, 155 police officers died in the line of duty during the first half of 2021, the report says.
Specifics of Vroom’s COVID-19, such as whether it was a breakthrough case, were not released.
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, police officers were among the public-facing professions hard hit by infections. In the NYPD, for instance, about 20% of the force had called out sick at some point in Spring 2020, with thousands testing positive for the virus.