On Monday, the Atlanta Police Department rolled out a detailed plan should the virus disrupt the department’s day-to-day operations even more than it already has.
The plan assumes some personnel will either be sick or required to quarantine, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said. Should that happen, Atlanta police will redirect other personnel to ensure they can continue to respond to 911 calls. “Ensuring we have the ability to respond to crises and emergency calls for service will be our priority,” Campos said in an emailed statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“At present, there has been no impact on our ability to respond to calls for service and no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in our department,” he said.
The department’s Contingency Operations Division has been in close conversations with the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, the Mayor’s Pandemic Coordination team, and public health officials, Campos said.
Already, Atlanta police have asked emergency medical services personnel to carefully evaluate medical calls to determine if officers are needed to assist. “If it is a situation that does not require a police officer, we will not respond,” Campos said.
The department has also been rescheduling and postponing its participation in “certain public gatherings that are non-essential,” he added.
The department has suspended outside travel and training for the entire department as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of the virus. All sworn personnel will continue to report to work, but “non-essential” civilian personnel will be teleworking, at least through the end of March. The department is also ensuring workplaces and patrol cars are properly cleaned.
“Our main focus has been on making sure our personnel remain healthy so that we may continue to serve the public with no disruptions,” Campos said. “We are taking several steps to assist in containing the spread of the virus among officers and support staff.”
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