When San Francisco police officer Jack Nyce missed the city’s Nov. 1 deadline to submit his coronavirus vaccination record, he was placed on a month of paid administrative leave, the San Francisco Chronicle first reported.
It was during that time that Nyce — who was not vaccinated — became ill with COVID-19, Lt. Tracy McCray, vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, told the paper.
Nyce, a 17-year veteran with the force, died of coronavirus complications Saturday at a Manteca, Calif., hospital with his wife by his side.
“He loved being a cop,” his wife, Melissa Nyce, told the Chronicle.
In an email to The Washington Post, Chief Bill Scott confirmed that Nyce, whom he described as a “widely respected colleague,” died Saturday.
Nyce’s wife declined to be interviewed when contacted by The Post late Wednesday. The San Francisco Police Officers Association did not immediately respond to a message.
Nyce’s death comes as several police departments across the country struggle to enforce city vaccination mandates. In Chicago, days before police officers were due to report their vaccination status following a citywide mandate, the head of its police union urged officers to ignore the deadline and “hold the line.”
Thousands of Los Angeles Police Department employees say they’ll seek vaccine exemptions after police officials filed a federal lawsuit against the city over immunization and mask mandates. In Massachusetts, at least 150 state officers, the police union recently reported, have resigned or submitted paperwork to do so over vaccine requirements. And last month, New York City’s largest police union sued to challenge a policy requiring all city employees to get their first vaccine doses before Nov. 1.
Nyce, who was raised in San Francisco and later served in the Army, tested positive for the virus last Tuesday, his wife told the Chronicle. His health deteriorated rapidly and by Saturday, his wife called an ambulance to take him to the hospital. He died later that day.
On Wednesday, the San Francisco Police Department shared the news of Nyce’s death.
“We mourn the loss of our very own, Officer Jack Nyce who passed away this past Saturday,” the department posted on Facebook. ” . . . He leaves behind many friends, co-workers, and family members that will miss him dearly. Thank you for your service to our city Jack Nyce, you will never be forgotten.”
By September, nearly 200 members of the San Francisco Police Department had applied for a religious exemption from the city’s employee vaccine mandate — the highest number of waiver requests from any city department.
Last week, the San Francisco Police Department announced that as many as 70 sworn and civilian workers had been placed on leave for not meeting the Nov. 1 vaccination deadline, the Associated Press reported. As of Nov. 2, the department said in a news release, 97.5% of its employees were fully vaccinated.
Any officers who remain unvaccinated by Nov. 13 will be placed on unpaid administrative leave until the San Francisco Police Commission convenes a hearing.