Coronavirus Chicago: CPD distributes 12K COVID-19 protective gear kits to patrol officers

Liz Nagy Image
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
CPD distributes COVID-19 protective gear to patrol officers
CPD distributes over 12,000 COVID-19 protective gear kits to patrolling officers safeguarding Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Every Chicago police officer patrolling the streets is now equipped with coronavirus protective gear, Chicago Police Department Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck said Tuesday.

The announcement came one day after it was reported that CPD was coming dangerously close to running out of their critical protective gear.

"In order to keep our officers safe we have distributed over 12,000 protective gear kits," Beck said.

The news is a welcoming sigh of relief as officers and firefighters are often the first to come in contact with coronavirus patients.

Healthcare workers aren't the only ones trying to stay protected from the coronavirus. There is a push for protective gear for Chicago police officers as well.

To date, six CPD officers and five Chicago firefighters have tested positive for the virus. That leaves thousands on each force worried they're vulnerable.

RELATED: Chicago coronavirus testing facility for first responders run by Illinois National Guard opens on NW Side

"We're working diligently... on the extensive cleaning of the districts, particularly the districts where we have experienced people testing positive," Beck said. "Special attention is being paid to common areas: desk, bathrooms, lockups, break rooms, and processing areas and other high traffic areas."

A fleet of ambulances have been dedicated to only responding to COVID-19 calls, and teams of officers in each district are equipped with high level protective gear.

Family owned Magid Glove donated $50,000 worth of its PPE to help those on the front lines.

"Almost 38,000 masks and 115,000 gloves to doctors and first responders all over Illinois," Magid Glove and Safety CEO Greg Cohen said.

With the city fighting a deadly pandemic and essentially on lockdown, Chicago police are left to patrol almost empty streets.

RELATED: Gov. Pritzker pushes for more PPE for first responders

"911 calls down 30% during this month," Beck said. "We've also seen a significant reduction in vehicle stops and pedestrian stops by our police officers. All of this indicates to me that people are doing what we ask."