Police agencies must continue serving the public while keeping officers as safe as possible. - Image courtesy of CDC

Police agencies must continue serving the public while keeping officers as safe as possible.

Image courtesy of CDC

In the wake of the COVID-19 virus, police agencies are taking extra steps to ensure officers are kept safe by ramping up vehicle cleaning procedures.

In Virginia, the Staunton Police Department is making extra efforts to ensure patrol cars, workspaces, and prisoner handling areas are kept clean and sanitized by wiping down surfaces and cleaning doorknobs, reported the News Leader. The agency has specific experience with a situation like this — a flu outbreak last year left the Staunton Police Department with half of its officers out of service at the same time.

The City of Austin (Texas) Internal Services Department purchased a new cleaning agent for disinfecting police vehicles, school buses, and other fleet vehicles, reported Fox 7 Austin. The new chemical stays on the surface between 30 and 90 days, and staff will continue to disinfect its more than 300 police cars every 60 days.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan has set up a sanitation station for cruisers to be completely sanitized after they transport people to jail, reported WZZM13. The nearby Grand Rapids Police Department also has a policy in place to clean vehicles at the start and end of each shift and after any person is transported in a vehicle.

Going a step further, the Detroit Police Department is ensuring the inside of its patrol cars are disinfected every few hours with wipes, according to Click on Detroit.

In an effort to help out those at higher risk, the Troy Police Department in Missouri offered to make pharmacy and grocery stops for older residents who don’t want to leave their homes, though the agency realized picking up prescriptions would violate the federal law that enforces the privacy of medical information. Instead, a detective told KMOV that the agency may consider picking up individuals and driving them to and from the pharmacy.

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