COVID-19 And Public Safety

Police Implement Sweeping Policy Changes To Prepare For Coronavirus Spread

Local law enforcement officials across the country are rapidly making major operational changes in preparation for the continued spread of coronavirus, as they face potential strains in resources and staffing without precedent in modern American history.

While policing is a public service centered around direct interactions with members of the public, several departments have already sought to limit responses to certain incidents and prioritize arrests of serious and violent offenses over some misdemeanor crimes.

Steve Casstevens, the head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) told ABC News Wednesday that “consistently” across the country, departments are changing the way they respond to calls in cases where an officer is not needed on scene.

Read more at www.abcnews.com.

Police Union Says San Antonio PD Not Doing Enough To Protect Officers From Coronavirus

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Police Officers Association is calling on local retailers to help procure protective supplies for officers on the front lines as the association claims the San Antonio Police Department isn’t doing enough to protect officers from coronavirus.

In a news release sent out Wednesday, SAPOA president Mike Helle said the department gave officers expired hand sanitizer and is not handing out enough protective gear to officers.

“Our first responders are being poorly equipped to deal with this crisis,” Helle said. “There aren’t enough masks and they’re being given expired hand sanitizer, probably left over from the Hurricane Katrina response. I am asking members of the business community to step up and partner with us to provide officers with the means to protect themselves as they do their jobs.” 

Read more at www.kens5.com.

Keeping Police Officers Healthy During Coronavirus Is Essential. Here Is What LAPD Is Doing

One of the biggest concerns as coronavirus spreads is the impact it could have on first responders, potentially reducing the number of officials able to handle emergency service.

The Los Angeles Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies, is already working to help prevent its officers from getting sick though a series of new guidelines and procedures.

Los Angeles Police Asst. Chief Horace Frank said all patrol officers and officers likely to come into contact have been issued a kit consisting of multiple sets of gloves, a bacteria protection mask and goggles.

Read more at www.latimes.com.

Coronavirus: First Responders Need Public Cooperation To Protect Themselves

Amid a pandemic, first responders need the public’s help.

As coronavirus spreads, police departments, fire departments and emergency medical technicians across the region are taking new precautions on calls. To help personnel avoid contracting COVID-19 and stay on the job, officials are asking the public to pitch in by cooperating.

White Plains Department of Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said when residents call 911 and say they are ill, the caller will need to answer a series a questions before help arrives.

Read more at www.lohud.com