During this worldwide COVID-19 crisis, law enforcement and private security personnel are not only expected to continue their usual levels of service to the public, but are also expected to assist in community and government efforts combating the virus. It is important that private security officers and LEOs are aware of the following information:
Below are (4) helpful guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that law enforcement and security officers should follow to stay safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Recognize the symptoms and signs of COVID-19. The symptoms of the virus may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms after exposure may not present until as long as 14 days, in some cases symptoms can show in as little as 2 days.
- Protect yourself from exposure. Try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other persons while on duty, especially those exhibiting the above symptoms. Practice proper hand hygiene and do NOT touch your face with unwashed hands. Wearing gloves may help remind officers not to touch their faces. Know your agencies/companies plan for exposure control.
- Recommended Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): At a minimum, have disposable latex gloves, a particle respirator and protective eyewear. And use them!
- If direct or close contact is made with any individual suspected of having COVID-19, clean and disinfect your duty belt and other gear prior to re-use. Follow standard procedures for the disposal of a used PPE. Make sure that you document any suspected exposure.
Ultimately, be aware of who you are coming in contact with and watch for signs of exposure. Keep your distance – 6 feet rule. Follow common sense hygiene protocols including frequent hand washing. Do not hesitate to ask for EMS / EMT assistance if you think you need it. Remember, you are a key component in combating this virus and keeping your community safe, so be safe and stay healthy.
For more information visit the CDC website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-law-enforcement.html