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A Draft of Procedures for Police Officers Responding to Calls

This is just one sample for what departments everywhere are putting together.

by Eric Holdeman / March 23, 2020

Since we have not had a pandemic of this nature in our modern era, departments everywhere are putting procedures together on the fly. See sample below:

 .Police Radio and Responding Officers will adhere to the following protocols when handling potential Covid-19 symptoms:

_______________ Police Department Covid-19 – Officer Safety Protocols and Coordinated Police Radio/ Patrol Response Protocols.

 1. Police Radio:

       A. Call takers will begin health-related questioning for all calls regarding persons at the    

         location where officers will be dispatched.  

     B. If a caller self-identifies themselves or any other persons on location as positive for Covid-

        19 or sick with flu-like symptoms (fever, coughing and sneezing, etc.):

         1.   Advise the caller that responding officers will be wearing masks and protective gloves  

              upon arrival; 

         2.   Notify responding officers that persons on location are positive for Covid-19 or are

              exhibiting flu-like symptoms; and  

         3.  A Radio supervisor will be immediately notified of all locations where a caller has

             indicated that any person at the location tested positive for Covid-19. The Radio

             Supervisor will immediate create a premise history for this location. 

 2.  Responding Officers:

      A. Level 1 - Safety Procedure (no Covid-19 or flu-like symptoms have been identified by

          Police Radio). Officers shall: 

           1. Attempt to maintain a safe distance of at least six (6) feet from any complainant; 

           2.  Assess whether the complainant appears sick with any cold or flu-like symptoms. If so,

               notify the complainant that you will return shortly, leave the location, and put on your

               protective mask, protective gloves and glasses if available. (i.e. Level - 2 Safety   

               Procedure); 

           3.  Re-engage the complainant and handle the assignment; 

           4.  If any officer is coughed, sneezed, or spit upon while engaging with any person, submit

               a report to the Infectious Control Officer; 

                          NOTE:  The Infections Control Officer will determine whether quarantine is

                             necessary; 

           5.  After every assignment use hand sanitizer or seek a location with soap and water and

               wash hands before resuming from the assignment; and 

           6.  This policy shall not prohibit an officer from using a mask and protective gloves if they

               believe it is necessary. 

       B.  Level 2 - Safety Procedure (when notified by Radio of a positive Covid-19 patient on

            location, or (2) persons with flu-like symptoms are on location). Officers shall:

             1. Prior to arriving on location, put on your protective mask, protective gloves and   

                 eyeglasses if available;

 2. Attempt to maintain a safe distance of at least six (6) feet from any complainant; 

             3. Advise all complainants that you are required by policy to remain six feet away

                from the complainant during the health crisis;  

             4. If any officer is coughed, sneezed or spit upon while engaging any person while

                wearing a mask or protective gloves, at the conclusion of the incident submit a

                report to the Infectious Control Officer;

                 NOTE:  The Infections Control Officer will determine whether quarantine is

                              necessary.

             5. While it may be difficult, prior to responding to any incident where an arrest or

                302 contact is possible, officers should put on their mask and protective gloves. Take  

                the time to protect yourself first; and 

              6. After every assignment, use hand sanitizer or seek a location with soap and water

                 and wash hands before resuming from that assignment.

        C.    Level 3 – Safety Procedure Safety Procedure (when notified by Radio of a positive

               Covid-19 patient on location, or two (2) persons with flu-like symptom are on location

               AND OFFICERS OBSERVE ANY PERSONS ON LOCATION ACTIVELY

               COUGHING OR SNEEZING, Officers shall: 

              1.  Barring exigent circumstance, withdrawal from the location and notify Police Radio

                  to activate a MIRT [Major Incident Response Team] to the location;

              2.  Stay on location outside the location and advise the complainant that police are

                  responding with higher-level safety equipment; and 

              3.  Await arrival for MIRT Officers to interact with the complainant and provide

                  necessary information. Responding Officers will still be responsible for handling and

                  reporting the overall assignment. 

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