Colorado FOP, CSOC and CACP Joint Press Release COVID-19

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2020

Contact: Amy Fletcher Faircloth, (720) 460-0276

[email protected]

Colorado Law Enforcement Organizations Continue to Keep Communities Safe

Departments implement measures to improve safety, communication; say public has an important role in stopping spread

DENVER — The County Sheriffs of Colorado, the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police released information today detailing the measures law enforcement is taking to protect the public, inmates and officers during the coronavirus outbreak.

“First and foremost, we are thankful for all first responders who continue to do their jobs during this difficult time. Colorado’s deputies, sheriffs and police officers continue working hard to keep their communities safe,” said Amy Nichols, executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado. “All law enforcement organizations are taking measures to protect the public, inmates and officers. But it’s imperative that all Coloradans do their part to stop the spread, which helps protect vulnerable members of our communities.”

Law enforcement actions to improve public safety and communication

Law enforcement agencies are taking extra precautions when they interact with the public and take care of the inmates in their charge. This includes:

  • In some cases, closing public lobbies.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing of all facilities and vehicles.
  • Directing employees to stay home if sick; wash hands often; avoid touching their faces; minimize contact with others; and maintaining a six-foot distance when possible.
  • Handling as many reports and interviews by phone as possible, limiting contact with citizens when possible. If contact is necessary, making contact with citizens outside of residences and other buildings.
  • Disinfecting passenger areas of patrol vehicles after each transport.

Some detention facilities have cancelled on-site visitation. However, multiple facilities are working with their vendors to facilitate communication between their families and loved ones through offering a limited number of free emails and calls, on a weekly or daily basis.

Planning for the future

In some instances, law enforcement is not able to practice social distancing in the same way as the general public, and exposure to coronavirus is a possibility. It is important for first responders, as well as health care providers, to have access to personal protective equipment, as well as priority access to testing and lab analysis. If these tests were prioritized, it could shorten isolation periods for people with negative results and help alleviate the stress on limited public resources.

“As we look toward the future, supporting and protecting our officers now will help ensure we are well situated to serve our communities throughout this outbreak,” said Steve Schulz, president of the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police.

Partnering with the public

Law enforcement is encouraging the public to follow the guidance of local, state and federal officials. This includes:

  • Putting distance between yourself and other people.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Frequently and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Complying with local and state measures that require social distancing and limit mass gatherings.

“These measures are necessary to control transmission of the disease, and compliance not only help keep communities healthy, but it also helps free up law enforcement to focus on other urgent aspects of their jobs,” said Don Knox, executive director of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police. “We are all in this together.”

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