Already working a dangerous job, Ohio police officers try to stay clear of COVID-19

Police officers are wiping down cars and asking callers about symptoms, but police work is anything but predictable.

Already working a dangerous job police officers try to stay clear of covid-19

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As a police officer you always want as much information as possible when you are going on a call, and in these times, the information required involves issues like flu symptoms, fever and shortness of breath.

Officers and dispatchers are asking people who call in for help if they are experiencing any symptoms that may require the call to be handled on the phone, or in a visit to a home that does not require the officer going inside.

That’s the best practice, but it is not always practical or possible.

“There’s emergency calls and we may not be able to get that information and we more or less have to figure that out after the fact, what kind of symptoms these people may have been suffering from,” said Lt. Dan Ciryak of the Parma police.

Emergency situations can’t be helped, but there are critical steps that can help to keep officers safe.

Patrol cars are getting wiped down before and after every shift, and the traditional roll call, is held outside or it’s not held at all.

“Supervisors are typing it up ahead of time so officers can come in, they can see it on the board, get their assignments that way and head out on the road,” Lt. Ciryak said.

Crime is down in Parma neighborhoods as most break-ins usually happen during the day when a lot of people are at work, but with people now home during he day, it’s led to the drop in crime.

In Avon, police are trying to keep a visible presence in the neighborhoods as police there tell 19 News it makes people feel safe, and every attempt is made to handle calls on the phone.

Also, Avon officers are only allowed in the station house, one at a time, to write reports.

But often times police business can be messy, so while the best intentions are to keep practicing social distancing, it is not always easy, in police work, to put that in practice.

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