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Polk County deputy dies from COVID-19

Deputy Christopher Broadhead had been on a ventilator battling the virus after he and his family contracted it last month.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Polk County Deputy Christopher Broadhead died Monday after contracting COVID-19, the sheriff's office said. He was 32 years old.

Broadhead began his career working in patrol in November 2011 with the Polk County Sheriff's Office, according to a news release. He was an investigator in property crimes, robbery and homicides.

In 2017, Broadhead was awarded the sheriff's office's Meritorious Service Medal. The University of Florida graduate most recently was assigned to the Southeast District, located in the Lake Wales area.

Broadhead had been on a ventilator battling COVID-19 after he and his family fell ill with the virus toward the end of July, a spokesperson said earlier. His 1-year-old daughter had been in and out of the hospital for four days.

Credit: GoFundMe

A GoFundMe page had been set up to help pay for medical expenses with a goal of $10,000. As of Monday afternoon, it neared $7,000.

Broadhead was married to former Polk County Deputy Elisa (Ranze) Broadhead, and he was a stepfather to her three children, a news release states. The two had two daughters, ages 1 and 2. 

There will be a memorial service to honor Broadhead at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 30 at the Victory Church located at 1401 Griffin Road in Lakeland.

Due to the service, drivers in the area of Griffin Road, Kathleen Road, and U.S. Hwy 98 North should be aware of heavy traffic, the sheriff's office says.