As the world faces the coronavirus pandemic, first responders are on the front lines, helping to protect and serve our communities in crisis. In doing so, we must also endeavor to perform our duties as safely as possible in order to keep ourselves and our families healthy.
With the situation evolving daily, staying informed is crucial. PLEA has compiled the following resources for our members.
Coronavirus Policy Advocacy
PLEA is committed to protecting our members as they experience increased workloads and are potentially exposed to residents with COVID-19. Our association will remain focused on ensuring our officers have the necessary resources, protective gear, guidance and information to protect public safety. See our letter to Mayor Kate Gallego for more details.
PLEA’s partners at the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) have also been hard at work advocating for the needs of law enforcement members, including paid sick leave, hazard pay, a COVID-19 presumption for survivor benefits and more. Visit NAPO’s Washington Report page for the latest news and updates on these efforts.
Safety Recommendations for Law Enforcement Personnel From the CDC
To protect yourself from exposure:
- If possible, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
- Practice proper hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available and illicit drugs are NOT suspected to be present, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Have a trained Emergency Medical Service/Emergency Medical Technician (EMS/EMT) assess and transport anyone you think might have COVID-19 to a healthcare facility.
- Ensure only trained personnel wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) have contact with individuals who have or may have COVID-19.
- Learn your employer’s plan for exposure control and participate in all-hands training on the use of PPE for respiratory protection, if available.
The minimum PPE recommended is:
- A single pair of disposable examination gloves
- Disposable isolation gown or single-use/disposable coveralls (If unable to wear a disposable gown or coveralls because it limits access to duty belt and gear, ensure duty belt and gear are disinfected after contact with individual)
- Any NIOSH-approved particulate respirator (i.e., N-95 or higher-level respirator); facemasks are an acceptable alternative until the supply chain is restored
- Eye protection (i.e., goggles or disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face)
If close contact occurred during apprehension:
- Clean and disinfect duty belt and gear prior to reuse using a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the product label.
- Follow standard operating procedures for the containment and disposal of used PPE.
- Follow standard operating procedures for containing and laundering clothes. Avoid shaking the clothes.