A MESSAGE FROM APD ABOUT COVID-19
We keenly understand the need for police and first responders to remain healthy during a public health crisis. We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily for several weeks now and making plans to adjust our operations, if and when that is needed.
At present, there has been no impact on our ability to respond to calls for service and no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in our department.
However, we have a detailed contingency plan in place that assumes some of our personnel will either become sick or be required to quarantine. In that event, our primary mission will be to ensure that other personnel are redirected to ensure our ability to receive and respond to 9-1-1 calls is not impacted. Ensuring we have the ability to respond to crises and emergency calls for service will be our priority.
Our Contingency Operations Division is taking the lead on helping us stay informed of developments with regard to COVID-19. Commanders in COD are in close contact with the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, The Mayor’s Pandemic Coordination team, as well as public health officials.
Our main focus has been on making sure our personnel remain healthy so that we may continue to serve the public with no disruptions. We are taking several steps to assist in containing the spread of the virus among officers and support staff.
- We have, since the virus hit the United States, been encouraging our officers to practice good hygiene – hand sanitizing and washing, coughing into tissues, minimizing handshakes and touching of the face and similar advice dispensed by the CDC and other medical professionals.
- We have suspended outside travel and training for the entire department as a precautionary measure, in order to reduce potential exposure to the virus.
- We are asking EMS personnel to carefully assess and evaluate medical calls to determine if police officers are needed to assist. If it is a situation that does not require a police officer, we will not respond.
- We are rescheduling and postponing our participation in certain public gatherings that are non-essential.
- We are working to ensure that our workspaces and patrol vehicles are properly sanitized.
- Our “non-essential” civilian personnel will be teleworking, at least through the end of March.
- All sworn personnel will continue to report to work.