coronavirus

Police Unions Speak Out After Dallas Police Officer Tests Positive for COVID-19

Police Union says a positive case was expected

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At the Northeast Patrol Division Substation, we saw an officer, in gloves, thoroughly cleaning the patrol unit. Officers have been given commercial-grade cleaning and sanitizing products after one of their own tested positive Thursday for coronavirus.

"The officers are out there on the street doing their job interacting with the public and there's no way out,” Executive Director of Combine Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) Charley Wilkison said. “It's going to happen."

Dallas police wouldn't comment on camera about it. 

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But CLEAT and the Latino Law Enforcement Organization did.

Both said this was expected. Now the concern is what's next.

"There is a lot of misinformation or lack of information that's been trickled down to the typical rank and file,” Latino Law Enforcement Organization president Sgt. George Aranda said. “That's starting to be a huge concern for us."

DPD released a statement saying the infected officer is isolated and doing well.  Three, close contact, coworkers were quarantined as a precaution.

An environmental cleaning company was brought in to sanitize the substation.

DPD says all possible measures are being taken to protect officers and stop the spread of the virus which is a concern among the ranks.

"While your typical civilian, stakeholder, is worrying about what they are going to do we are also worrying about coming in contact with individuals that may be contagious or infected by COVID," Aranda said.

DPD issued more than 3,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 6,000 boxes of gloves for officers to use. 

The hope is to keep sick calls low in a department that is already understaffed.

"I wouldn't be concerned about catching the virus from the police officer necessarily,” Wilkison said. “I would be concerned that eventually, you are not going to have enough officers on the street to do the work."

DPD said they know officers will get sick and are prepared with a contingency plan to maintain operations to keep the community safe.

Another health change happened at Jack Evans Headquarters.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the front doors will be open.  However, visitors will be screened at the front desk window.

Overnight from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. visitor interaction will be through the intercom system outside the front door.

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