Impact of COVID-19 on Law Enforcement

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Concerns are growing that first responders, including law enforcement officers, may become transmitters of the virus. As such, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidelines to first responders for answering calls released to COVID-19. EMS and Police are being asked to wear personal protective equipment like eye protection, gowns, gloves and facemasks if the situation permits. Sanitation at the start of, during, and after shifts is imperative to good health and prevention. 

To restrict the spread of the virus to law enforcement, some states and cities have passed new guidance to officers limiting what crimes are now enforcable. Critics of such policies have been quick to point out the negative effects such plans are having in California, as petty-theft has slowly but surely grown and caused small businesses thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, law enforcement COVID-19 cases have slowly grown, with agencies in New York, Chicago, Minnesota, Buffalo, Los Angeles, and Detroit reporting well over a dozen cases each.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.