The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has changed the workflow for many jobs, including those in public safety. The Lawrence Police Department and University of Kansas Public Safety Office are adopting new procedures to reduce the risk of illness for officers.
KU PSO is requiring all police and public sanitary officers to regularly sanitize their vehicles and equipment. Other equipment, such as gloves and masks, are also available to all officers, Deputy Chief James Aguiano said in an email to the Kansan.
“We encourage the campus community to practice safe distancing,” Aguiano said in the email.
KU PSO is practicing social distancing internally and with people on campus; they are taking reports over the phone and encouraging staff who feel sick to stay home. More foot patrols have also been utilized to ensure campus buildings are staying locked and unoccupied.
LPD is taking similar precautions to ensure the safety of their employees, while continuing to respond to local incidents, Kim Murphee, a spokesperson for LPD said in an email to the Kansan.
“At this time, all precautions that can be taken to protect first responders under the current health directives and local guidelines are being taken, while law enforcement staff continue to respond to incidents reported to or referred to the Department,” Murphee said in the email.
One LPD officer tested positive for the coronavirus on March 27, but there have been no other cases within the department or KU PSO.
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Kansas, LPD and the University PSO will continue responding to incidents reported in their communities.