Second Atlanta Police Officer has coronavirus, other officers staying home
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Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta Police Department confirms that a second officer has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
“One additional officer who works in the field-tested positive this week for COVID-19, bringing the department’s total to two. Both officers who have tested positive are at home, recovering in isolation from their colleagues,” a spokesperson for the Police Department said. “We also have a small number of officers who are home, either sick and awaiting tests or diagnoses, or quarantined for a variety of reasons – including living with a family member who has tested positive or is showing symptoms.”
The spokesperson said the officers are “a small minority” of the department. They will return to work as soon as they are cleared to do so.
“We continue to take steps to reduce the spread of the virus within the department,” the spokesperson said. “We are in the process of distributing masks to our officers, so they are able to wear them when interacting with the public. Additionally, arrestees will be required to wear a mask when being transported to jail. Our worksites continue to be cleaned by a professional decontamination company, with priority given to locations where officers have tested positive.”
The Police Department also is changing how it handles certain crimes.
“In the interest of safety for our officers, as well as jail staff and inmates at both Fulton County and the City of Atlanta detention facilities, officers are also being encouraged to write a copy of charges, rather than make a physical arrest, for non-violent crimes where there is no danger to the public,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to emphasize that APD expected the COVID-19 pandemic would affect our staffing – as it has law enforcement agencies all across the nation – and developed a contingency plan with a priority on ensuring we are able to respond to emergency calls. We have experienced a lower call volume than usual in the past week, and there is no degradation to our ability to respond to 9-1-1 calls.”
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