Police, sheriffs and firefighters have been impacted by the coronavirus. (Photo Aurelia Ventura / La Opinion)
Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion
Neither police officers, sheriffs nor firefighters have escaped the coronavirus pandemic that has also impacted their ranks in the city and county of Los Angeles, forcing these public security forces to reinforce preventive measures to protect themselves and the community.
As of March 2, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported a total of 34 items that tested positive for the coronavirus, and they remain isolated in their houses in the process of recovery. Only one of them is hospitalized.
Of those 34 affected, 28 are police officers; and the rest are civilians who work for the LAPD.
LAPD Commander for the South Los Angeles Bureau, Al Labrada said police officers have been outfitted with equipment containing face masks, gloves, and goggles to wear when the person they are on the street exhibits any symptoms of respiratory illness.
But it does not finish here.
“Organizational meetings when there is a shift change, is held outside each police station to keep social distance; and the patrols must be delivered clean to the officers who come on duty, "he said.
In addition, the facilities are disinfected every two hours, and it is ensured that there is enough soap in the toilets for officers to wash their hands frequently.
At the beginning of their journey, each officer's temperature is taken with a laser thermometer that consists of putting a light on their foreheads, and does not allow physical contact.
“If they have a temperature, they go home; And if they feel bad, not precisely with the symptoms of the coronavirus, they are asked not to come to work, "he said.
Commander Labrada made it clear that officers do not want to miss their job because they want to protect the community. "We don't want crime to take advantage in these times. So we are going to see more police on the streets. ”
Some extra supports given to police officers during these times of the coronavirus are: haircuts, food, sleeping beds and showers, services offered at the Police Academy next to Dodger Stadium. "If they need to sleep, rest, take a bath and cut their hair, they can do it there," he stressed.
The Police Department reported in a statement that the coronavirus cases featured among its ranks are a simple reminder that anyone is susceptible to the virus. "The LAPD encourages all Angelenos to follow state and local standards of hygiene and social distance."
Commander Labrada made a special appeal to the Latino community not to go out on the street but have to, especially at night, since they have also observed an increase in robberies, as happened with a corn vendor who the criminals they stripped the money of their sales.
However, there are other Latinos who seem unaware of the magnitude of the pandemic.
"I've had to see older Latino adults playing dominoes at the Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, and this is worrying because they are among the most vulnerable population, "he said.
As of April 1, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) reported nine cases of agents infected with the coronavirus; while the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) revealed that eight members tested positive for the pandemic, two have already recovered and returned to their duties, while one of them is hospitalized. The rest recover at home.
The coronavirus has affected how we respond to emergency calls.
If the person to be treated is suspected of the virus, the 911 dispatcher informs firefighters or personnel who come to the aid in the ambulance or the firefighter, that they must wear protective equipment and maintain a distance of six feet.