Chicago Police Officer Marco DiFranco's death 'in line of duty,' Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said the death of an officer who died from COVID-19 is considered to have been in the line of duty.

Officer Marco DiFranco contracted the virus last week and was hospitalized last weekend. Officer DiFranco was a 21-year veteran of the department, worked out of the Homan Square station, and served in the Narcotics Division.

Officer DiFranco's death being considered in the line of duty means his family will have continuing financial support from the Chicago Police Department. A single gold star flew at half-staff outside CPD Headquarters to honor the officer.

CPD's first coronavirus death is a stinging reminder of the added risk Chicago police officers face each day on the streets with an invisible enemy.

"They run a danger every single day and this time like no other time are they running to danger," Mayor Lightfoot said.

Superintendent Beck said that between coronavirus isolation and other illnesses, 983 sworn officers called out sick Friday. That's around 7% of the entire police force, though the number dipped slightly from Thursday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Beck at a press conference Friday to thank the businesses that have supported the Chicago Police Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dozens answered the call with donations to the city's first responders with thousands of masks and gloves coming in, hand sanitizer, and even Girl Scout cookies.

"Sometimes a cookie and a cup of coffee can make all the world of difference," Mayor Lightfoot said.

Alderman Matt O'Shea of the 19th Ward teamed up with the Original Pancake House to raise more than $40,000 on GoFundMe.

"We've provided meals to front line workers at Advocate Christ Medical Center, OSF Little Company of Mary Hospital and several police stations on the South Side and fire stations," Alderman O'Shea said.
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