Editor's note: This article has been updated to show the number of Dallas police officers infected with the coronavirus has increased from five to six.
A sixth Dallas police officer has tested positive for coronavirus and 31 more were quarantined as of Thursday, the department says.
Police Chief Renee Hall told a Dallas City Council committee Thursday that one of those infected with COVID-19 has required hospitalization.
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In an interview with NBC 5 from her office Thursday morning, Hall said she is relieved that more of the 3,000 Dallas officers have not become patients.
“We credit that to the officers, for exercising social distancing to make sure they are using hand sanitizer, sanitizing the vehicle after every transport and in between shifts,” Hall said.
The chief said DPD ordered extra supplies of gloves and hand sanitizer weeks ago that are holding up. She thanked Home Depot for a donation of more than 15,000 masks.
“We’ve been able to keep our officers with what they need at this time. As you know the supply is limited across the country,” Hall said.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata has urged officers to save face masks for situations where a person with symptoms is present.
He accepted a donation of 40 gallons of hand sanitizer Thursday from an Irving business.
Mata said officers are concerned about the five who have confirmed coronavirus cases.
“I think it’s just the uncertainly,” he said. “Every officer goes to work. We do the best that we can. But when it comes down to it, we still go home to our families and we’re worried about that.”
Police are promoting their online reporting system for minor crimes to reduce face to face contact.
“This reporting system allows us to minimize the level of exposure of our officers and allows residents to get the service that they need," Hall said.
With fewer people on the street, overall crime has declined in Dallas but it has not stopped.
In the 2900 block of South Ervay Street, around 8 p.m. Wednesday night a man was murdered with six gunshot wounds.
Burglary and Aggravated Assault are both up so far this year but Hall said those crimes are down week over week.
“In addition to our pandemic that's affecting our country, we still have individuals who intend to prey on our community and we are not going to allow that,” Hall said. “We are actively going after those criminals who are wanted and making sure we are enforcing all the rules, whether it’s COVID or laws in general. We’re making sure that individuals know we’re going to protect our community.”
Many of the 13,000 city employees in Dallas are at home but employees in Fire, Code Enforcement, Sanitation and other essential services are still on the job along with police.