ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Friends, family and colleagues on Tuesday said goodbye to St. Petersburg police officer who died of COVID-19 last week.
“We’re usually the ones providing the comfort, and now we’re the ones suffering from the tragedy of a loss,” said Sergeant Michael Shade.
Officer Michael Weiskopf’s widow Karen said her husband was not vaccinated and she wants to do what she can to encourage others to get the vaccine. The Health Department set up a clinic in the parking lot next to the Coliseum, where people could get vaccinated before the service.
“He made a risky decision not to vaccinate like so many others. I’ve watched a very strong mental and physical and healthy man suffer through a horrible illness over the course of 28 days that ultimately resulted in his death,” Weiskopf said.
Officer Michael Weiskopf was remembered at a funeral service at The Coliseum, 535 4th Avenue North.
“If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your family and coworkers, but you need to get vaccinated,” said St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway.
Weiskopf joined the police department almost 20 years ago. Most days, he was first to arrive at work in the Traffic Crash Investigation Unit, his colleagues said.
Sgt. Shade said he remembers his colleague and friend, as someone who cared.
“Mike was a person who would give you the shirt off his back,” he sad.
Weiskopf was one of four Florida law enforcement officers, three from the Tampa Bay area to die in a week from COVID-19.
Last week, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office announced the death of Deputy Douglas Clark, 67. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Christopher Broadhead died following a weeks-long battle with the virus. The agency hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic after the services, at his family’s request.