Amid heated debate on vax mandate, SF police department loses officer due to COVID-19

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COVID-19 has taken the life of a San Francisco police officer and U.S. Army veteran over the weekend, as confirmed by department and police union officials on Monday.

Melissa Nyce, the wife of the late Officer Jack Nyce, said her husband tested positive for the virus last Tuesday. She refused to divulge the vaccination status of the 46-year-old officer.

The officer was said to have failed to beat the Nov. 1 vaccination deadline set by the city, according to the three sources of The Chronicle.

His wife called an ambulance on Saturday as the officer’s condition became severe. He was brought to Kaiser hospital in Manteca where he died.

“He loved being a cop,” her grieving wife shared to The Chronicle on Monday. She was with her husband when he died thus she was put under quarantine.

Melissa shared that his husband was raised in San Francisco and finished high school at McAteer. He joined the Army afterward.

The two were married in 2004 and did not have any offspring. Melissa shared her husband’s love for motorcycles and guns.

Officer Nyce has served law enforcement for over 17 years, as said by San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, who lauded the late officer through an email on Monday. Scott said that Nyce had “a variety of assignments” under the department and he was a “widely-respected colleague.”

Officer Nyce’s death came amid the heated discussion on vaccination mandates of the cities on its government employees. Getting the vaccine will have them and the public’s protection assured but there are some who oppose the requirement. Nearly 200 department staff have filed for vaccination exemption due to religious reasons in September, the highest number of any city department recorded.

As many as 70 civilian workers who took their oath on the office have been planned to be placed on leave by the department last week because of their failure to hit the vaccination deadline last Nov. 1.  Majority of the department employees, or 97.5 percent, have been fully vaccinated as of Nov. 2, according to a news release by the San Francisco police.