Police officers in Fort Worth will start to wear N95 masks and protective gloves when interacting with the public due to safety concerns regarding COVID-19, the police department announced Saturday.
Fort Worth police said they have taken other steps in attempt to protect officers, including online reporting of incidents like harassing phone calls, identity theft and shoplifting, taking the temperature of employees entering city facilities and disinfecting patrols cars prior to each shift change.
In addition, the city of Fort Worth is allowing employees to to use emergency sick leave, while the police department said is has frequently reminded officers to comply with social distancing guidelines.
"This pandemic has proven itself to be a formidable challenge and a perfect storm for law enforcement and first responders in the worst way," the Fort Worth Police Department wrote in a tweet. "We, as law enforcement, do not have the option to stay home because our citizens depend on us we will continue to ensure the safety of the public."