3 Detroit police officers test positive for COVID-19
Detroit — Three Detroit police officers have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, while 80 members of the department are out of commission in quarantine, according to two police sources.
All quarantined members are uniformed police officers, one of the sources said. Some were ordered to stay home because they'd been in contact with the infected officers, and others self-quarantined, according to the source.
Police officials learned Wednesday that one officer was infected with the virus, and on Thursday two more positive results surfaced, the sources said.
Detroit police chief James Craig declined to comment about the sources' details, but added: "I recognize this is a growing concern for the agency. Our daily operations have not been compromised."
The department has about 2,200 members, with 1,800 in the officer ranks. Craig Miller, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association union, said he wasn't sure what impact having 80 quarantined officers would have.
"A lot of it would depend on who they are, and where they're assigned," he said. "I talked to a couple officers who were notified (to stay home), and they said it was just precautionary; just because they're quarantined, that doesn't mean they have (the virus)."
Miller said his union is working with Craig to figure out the best way to keep citizens and officers safe during the emergency.
"Right now, it's just an unknown to all of us," he said. "We're all trying to keep everybody's heads together. That's really important right now."
Police departments across the country are concerned about staffing in case of a viral outbreak. The St. Louis County Police Department put out a memo asking retirees if they’d be willing to come back to work in case of a staffing emergency.
Two New York City police officials were diagnosed with COVID-19 virus this week, while 30 officers in a Manhattan police precinct called in sick, forcing officials to bring in officers from other precincts.
Detroit police officials took measures to try to stop the spread of the virus, including holding management meetings remotely, and splitting the Police Academy into two classes to restrict the number of cadets in class at one time.
The 32 graduates from the Detroit Police Academy were to be be sworn in at police headquarters Friday, with no friends or relatives allowed. A ceremony will be held later, Craig said.