By Marci Creps
Bloomington Police officers have been taking extra efforts to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Police continue to respond to all emergency requests and are equipped with items they need to stay safe.
“We have a PPE (personal protective equipment) for officers that includes things such as gloves, N95 masks and eye protection,” said BPD Captain Ryan Pedigo.
Officers also disinfect their patrol vehicles multiple times per shift and use hand sanitizer frequently after contact with anyone or items such as driver’s licenses, paperwork, etc.
Pedigo said officers are also being encouraged change in and out of their uniforms at work and not wear uniforms home. The idea is to help so that officers are not contaminating their homes.
Police officers are also encouraged to take more reports over the phone if face-to-face contact is not required. Those would include reports such as for vandalism or prior theft.
Officers are also issuing criminal summonses instead of custodial arrests in certain situations to cut down on physical contact.
Despite all those precautions, officers can’t always use their protective equipment. “For example, if an officer responds to an emergency call of a fight in progress or something such as that, they might not have an opportunity to put PPE on prior to arriving at the scene and potentially having to have physical contact with involved parties,” Pedigo said.
“However, we are trying our best to limit the amount of contact that officers have with members of the public so we can maintain a healthy police force that is adequately staffed to meet the needs of our citizens,” Pedigo said.