Chicago Police Department low on PPE to protect officers from coronavirus

CHICAGO (WLS) -- 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.

Chicago Police Department said it's officers on the street are dangerously close to running out of critical protective gear.

"We have not reached a point in Chicago where we have been able to give every single officer a mask because we just don't have enough," said Chicago Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

Not only do they not have enough masks for every officer, but CPD said their supply of a crucial testing solution for those N95 masks is now depleted.

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

"What that means is, in order for the mask to work you have to have an air tight seal. There's a solution you can test the seal with officers before they are deployed," Guglielmi said, "We've actually run out of that solution."

Now, just like states and hospital, police are pleading with the private sector to offer up stock piles of life-saving devices.

"CPD is going to come to a dangerous point here where we are no longer able to fit officers with these masks, which could ultimately effect calls for service," Guglielmi said.

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

As of Monday, the National Guard is now helping to make sure first responders can be tested at a new drive-thru facility set up just for them.

On the city's Northwest Side, uniformed National Guard members administer the tests that are reserved for credentialed first responders - those on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.