DO THE FIVE
Help stop coronavirus

1) HANDSWash them often

2)  ELBOWCough into it

3) FACEDon't touch it

4) FEETStay more than 3ft apart, up to 6 ft

5) FEEL
sick? Stay home


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Protecting Law Enforcement Officers During the Coronavirus
By: Edward W. Wallace Jr

The coronavirus (
COVID-19) outbreak is here in the U.S., and there are reports of law enforcement officers testing positive. In New York City, there has been an increase in confirmed sick reports and exposures related to the virus at police and correction departments.
If this continues, law enforcement agencies across the nation may be at risk of not being able to maintain the 
necessary force levels to provide adequate services to their communities. To stop this from happening, let’s dig deeper into how the coronavirus spreads, to help inform what actions we should take next.

COVID-19: What is a Virus?

Pathogens are biological organisms and proteins – such as bacteria, viruses and toxins – that can produce diseases. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on COVID-19, which is a virus.

A virus is a parasitic microorganism that requires portions of the host’s cellular metabolism or DNA/RNA to replicate. To simplify this, it enters a host and attaches to a cell. It injects its DNA/RNA into the cell, where it uses either the host’s cellular metabolism or incorporates into the host’s own DNA/RNA to replicate.

If it uses the host’s cellular metabolism to replicate, after the cell fills with new viruses, the viruses break out of the cell and seek other cells to attach to and repeat this process.

If it has incorporated into the DNA/RNA, when the host’s cells replicate, the virus also gets replicated within the cells without having to break out.

When enough virus cells are produced and cellular damage occurs to the host, the host begins to show symptoms of the disease the virus produces.

How Does a Human Contract the Coronavirus?

There are several routes of entry a virus can take to enter a person, including inhalation (respiratory tracks) and ingestion (gastrointestinal tracks). Other ways a virus can enter into a system include injection (like a mosquito), the eyes, broken skin and more.

At this point, it appears that the COVID-19 virus enters a person’s system through inhalation, ingestion, the eyes and broken skin – similar to the Flu. That does not necessarily rule out other points of entry, however, which means we need to carefully navigate our interactions with other people.

For law enforcement whose job it is to interact with the public all day, make arrests, go to courts, etc, limiting interactions to prevent the spread of this virus is a difficult feat – and could have consequences on the safety of our communities if we don’t properly act.

How Can Law Enforcement Officers Protect Themselves at Work?

Above everything, officers must first be diligent, taking all reasonable precautions and adhering to official agency guidelines.

However, the officer’s department or agency has the legal responsibility to protect law enforcement officers from the COVID-19 threat.

The Employer Responsibility

Employers are responsible to protect you from this virus while you work under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Specifically:

·      
OSHA 1910.134, Respiratory Protection. You can’t just issue an N95 respirator to your officers without conforming to all of the measures within this standard.

·      
OSHA 1910.120, Hazardous waste operations and emergency response.

I have spoken about this in previous articles, but it bears repeating. There are many subsections of the above regulations that law enforcement departments or agencies are required to follow in order to protect their officers. Please take the time to review all of them.

Test Officers & Cohabitants for COVID-19

Agencies should provide testing for COVID-19. Your agency should work with your public health lab to work this out. This testing will establish the force level readiness baseline for the entire department and determines if some officers are already infected.

If infected, medical professionals should determine your next steps for treatment and isolation. You will be put out sick until such time as medical professionals say you can go back to work.

Your agency or department should also have all the people you live with tested as well. What’s the sense of testing your officer, only to have them go home to their residence where there may be an infected cohabitant? If you want to preserve your force levels, you need to know what’s going on at your officer’s residence.

At the start of your tour of duty, you should also have your blood pressure, pulse and temperature taken to get your baseline vitals, ensuring that you can work that tour.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

You should also consider wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), up to a Hazmat level C ensemble, during your tour.

With that said, here are my PPE recommendations to protect active duty patrol officers, according to each method the coronavirus can potentially transmit:

1.     Inhalation

·      N95 HEPA Air Purifying Respirator (APR) for patrol duties and direct contact with possible infected person(s)
·      MSA Millennium Full Face APR with HEPA Cartridge for direct contact with known infected person(s), part of Level C Hazmat ensemble

2.     Ingestion

·     N95 HEPA APR for patrol duties and direct contact with possible infected person(s)
·      MSA Millennium Full Face APR with HEPA Cartridge for direct contact with known infected person(s), part of Level C Hazmat ensemble

3.     Injection

Unbroken skin is your first line of defense against most pathogens. No bacteria or virus can get into your body through unbroken skin without the aid of specific chemicals. At this time, to protect the skin, I recommend the officer’s standard duty uniform with long sleeve shirts, for patrol duties, as well as:

·      Knit beanie cap
·      Nitrile gloves
·      Mosquito Repellant with a high DEET content, seasonal
·      Tyvek or Tychem F suit with hood and booties and Nitrile gloves for direct contact with known infected person(s), part of Level C Hazmat ensemble

4.     Conjunctival (Eyes)

·      Safety Goggles for patrol duties and direct contact with possible
infected person(s)
·      MSA Millennium Full Face APR with HEPA Cartridge for direct contact with known infected person(s), part of Level C Hazmat ensemble

5.     Dermal (Broken Skin)

·      Duty uniform with long sleeve shirt, knit beanie cap and Nitrile gloves for patrol duties and direct contact with possible infected person(s)

·      Tyvek or Tychem F suit with hood and booties and Nitrile gloves for direct contact with known infected person(s), part of Level C Hazmat ensemble

Disinfection and Decontamination Protocols

All officers should take some standard protections,
such as those recommended by the CDC:


·      Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

·      If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

·      Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
·      Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow.
·      Throw used tissues in the trash.
·      Clean AND disinfect 
frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. For law enforcement, this includes your lockers, cruisers (RMPs for NYPD), duty rigs and all equipment on it.
·      Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface. 
Some options include:

·      Diluting your household bleach with water (follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.)
·      Disinfect with solutions that have at least 70% alcohol.
·      Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens

Officers should be issued 70% alcohol hand sanitizer, plastic bags for uniforms and biohazard waste bags for any PPE.

At the end of the tour of duty, the agency should have a dedicated area and protocols to safely remove duty uniforms and PPE, especially if you suspect you have come in contact with an infected person(s) during your tour.

Decontamination Example Protocol

You should leave your gloves and APR on while you carefully remove your duty rig and disinfect/decontaminate it and place it in a clean bag. Seal it once completed.

Next, while still wearing your APR and gloves, carefully remove your uniform and place it in the appropriate bag and seal for later cleaning.

Next, disinfect/decontaminate the outside of the bags.

Next, bring your uniform to your command’s laundry area (washing machines and dryers) and have your uniform washed.

Finally, remove PPE and dispose them in the proper Bio-Hazard Waste.

Secure your belongings and shower, then dress into your clean street clothes, remove your duty rig from the bag and store appropriately per your agency’s protocols.

Then, before you leave for the day, have your blood pressure, pulse and temperature taken to compare to the vitals taken at the start of your tour, to ensure you are not in need of medical attention and you are fit to go home.

As for your duty uniform, it would be a best practice that your agency provides washing machines and dryers at each command so that uniforms can be securely and properly cleaned without having to transport them to another location. If this is not available, your agency is responsible to make arrangements for the cleaning of the uniforms suspected of being contaminated. If they don’t, I recommend that you don’t bring them home to clean.

If you were wearing hazmat level C PPE ensemble because of direct contact with known infected person(s), then you will have to follow your agency’s Biological Hazmat Decontamination procedures for you to safely remove your PPE.

OSHA 1910.120(q) has set guidelines for Hazmat Level C PPE decontamination that you can follow.

I hope this is helpful to you officers. Good luck, God Bless and stay safe.

Ed Wallace is a retired First Grade Detective from the NYPD, certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst and senior instructor and lead course developer at Louisiana State University, National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education. As a Software Consultant at CrimeCenter, Ed works directly with law enforcement to assist in the training and implementation of CrimeCenter Software. Connect with Ed on LinkedIn.





Recent Guidance and NYC Cases

New York, stay home. Healthy or sick, all New Yorkers need to stay home as much as possible.

Other languages coming soon.

Bars, Restaurants and Entertainment Venues Closed

Starting Tuesday, March 17, restaurants, bars and cafes may only serve food take-out and delivery. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues must all close.

No Gatherings of 50 or More People

All outdoor and indoor events with 50 or more people are now banned. For gatherings with 49 people or fewer, we advise facilities to remain at less than 50% capacity in order to better encourage social distancing.

For more information about places of public gathering and scheduled events, contact those facilities or visit their websites.

NYC Public School Buildings Closed

New York City public schools will be closed to students and staff on Monday, March 16. Starting Tuesday, March 17, schools will move toward a new Remote Learning Model for all school days until Spring Recess.

Case Count in NYC

NYC residents tested positive (as of March 16 at 11:30 a.m.): 463*

* This case count does not include people with COVID-19 related illness who have not been tested.


Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from mild diseases, such as a cold, to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia. Recently, a new coronavirus was detected that had not been previously seen in humans. The disease, called COVID-19, can be spread from person to person.

There is now widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in New York City, meaning the sources of new infections are unknown. Everyone in New York City should act as if they have been exposed to COVID-19. That means monitoring your health closely and staying home from work if you are sick. New Yorkers who are not sick should also stay home as much as possible and avoid all unnecessary social interactions.

There are no vaccines or specific treatments available for COVID-19. However, medicine and vaccine research is underway.

Symptoms, Chronic Health Risks

Symptoms of COVID-19 commonly include fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover without complications. Less commonly, COVID-19 may lead to pneumonia, hospitalization or death.

People who are at most risk for severe illness are older adults or those who have chronic health conditions, such as

  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • A weakened immune system

Prevention

The following precautions can help you stay healthy. You do not need to wear a face mask if you are not feeling sick, unless you are instructed to do so by your health care provider. Face masks need to be reserved for the health care system.

Daily Activities

  • Stay home. All New Yorkers — healthy or sick — need to stay home. You should only leave your home for essential tasks, such as work (if you cannot work from home), getting groceries and supplies or essential medical care. Try to use delivery services when possible.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds every time, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face unless you recently washed your hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.
  • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  • If you are an older adult or have any of the chronic health conditions listed above, avoid all unnecessary gatherings and events.

Avoiding Crowds in NYC

  • Private employers should allow employees to work from home or stagger their work hours.
  • Walk or bike to work, if possible.
  • If the train or bus is too crowded, wait for the next one.
  • Avoid crowded spaces including restaurants and bars that are not following the guidance above.

If You Are Sick, Stay Home

  • If you are sick, stay home. If you do not feel better in three to four days, consult your health care provider. Try to call, text, telemedicine or use your patient portal to contact your physician.
  • Avoid the emergency department and other places you seek healthcare if you are not severely ill. Stay home and keep healthcare access available for others with more severe illness.
  • If you need help getting medical care, call 311. You can get care in NYC regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.
  • If you have family or friends who are older adults or have chronic conditions, do not visit them if you feel sick.
  • Stay home for seven days after your symptoms started and for three days after your fever has stopped without the use of fever-reducing drugs, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen, and your cough or sore throat symptoms have improved.

When to Stay Home, Self-Monitor and Get Tested

All New Yorkers should consider themselves potentially exposed to coronavirus. That means that everyone should stay home as much as possible, even if they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. While at home, all New Yorkers should self-monitor. Self-monitoring means you check yourself for fever and remain alert for cough, shortness of breath or sore throat. It is really important that people who have these symptoms stay home and do not attend work, school, public events or group gatherings.

Most illness caused by coronavirus is mild. If think you have COVID-19 and your illness is mild, you do not need to see your doctor and you do not need to get tested. This is because getting tested will not change how your doctor will take care of you. If you do not feel better in three to four days, call your provider.

You should consult with your doctor if you have:

  • Fever, cough, shortness of breath or other cold or flu-like symptoms and do not feel better after three to four days. Use telephone, text, telemedicine or a patient portal to reach out rather than going to your doctor in person.
  • Mild symptoms and are an older adult or have any of the chronic health conditions listed above.

You and your provider will decide if you need to come to medical care. You do not need to be tested unless you are admitted to the hospital.

If you need help finding a health care provider, call 311.

You should stay at home and avoid other people:

  • All New Yorkers should try to stay home as much as possible, even if they feel well. Avoiding events and other unnecessary interactions will slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • People who are sick must stay home. In these cases, if you do not feel better after three to four days, consult with your health care provider by phone, text, telemedicine, or patient portal. They will help decide if you should seek in-person care.
  • If you stay home because you are sick, stay home for at least seven days after your illness started and three days after your fever has ended without fever-reducing medicines.

Guidance for Schools, Businesses and Facilities

In addition to taking steps to protect yourself, learn how you can help keep COVID-19 from spreading in the following types of public facilities in your community:

For more information and guidance on these topics, see CDC’s Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities webpage.


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Important Information About Coronavirus
Line-of-Duty Documentation


As new information about COVID-19 is constantly emerging, we will continue to keep members up-to-date on recommended procedures and policy. The DEA will also continue to ensure the health and well-being of every Detective.
 
If any member has been tested and diagnosed with COVID-19, we strongly recommend Line-of-Duty paperwork be filed. Symptoms of the virus include difficulty breathing, runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.
 
The Police Commissioner has announced that every member of the service will receive a universal exposure number related to COVID-19.
 
Nick Cifuni, one of the partners of our disability/Social Security law firm — Ungaro Cifuni & Jaffe — prepared a template of the verbiage that should be included in any Line-of-Duty Injury report submittal related to having been infected or tested positive by the COVID-19. Please include the entirety, or pertinent portions of, the language contained in the following template in your Line-of-Duty filing.
 
Proposed Line-of-Duty language for members:
 
“On (date) I tested positive for Coronavirus.
 
During the Coronavirus outbreak crisis, while on duty at the (time and place) of occurrence, I was in the immediate presence of and came into contact with a person (name of person) exhibiting Coronavirus like symptoms (specific, i.e. coughing, wheezing, sneezing, spitting etc.).
 
This described contact occurred pursuant to Department orders during the height of the Coronavirus outbreak crisis while utilizing recommended distancing when coming into contact with such individuals, and despite a directive issued by the NYS Governor to limit personal contacts and workforce reductions of 100%.
 
I also request an exposure number be issued for this occurrence.”
 
Please make sure that you retain a copy of any documents you prepare/submit regarding a potential COVID-19 related illness.
 
We also recommend forwarding a copy of your completed Line-of-Duty paperwork to the DEA office for filing.
 
If you have any Line-of-Duty related questions, please feel free to email our disability attorney Nick Cifuni at 
 
nick@nycdisabilitylaw.com.
 
DEA attorneys, Karasyk & Moschella, LLP, are also available for guidance while completing Line-of-Duty paperwork to ensure all pertinent information is included. They can be reached at
 (212) 233-3800.
 
If your request for a Line-of-Duty designation is denied, please contact your DEA Delegate and/or the DEA office.
 
The DEA continues to also recommend that you document any and all exposure to the virus, even if you have not been diagnosed positive.
 
Take all precautions necessary to safeguard your health and safety.
 
Again, we cannot stress enough how important it is for members to complete and submit Line-of-Duty paperwork regarding COVID-19.
 
The DEA will always be in your corner, fighting for the rights and safety of every member. In unity there is strength.
 
Fraternally,
 
Paul DiGiacomo
President



An Important Message From the DEA President About the Coronavirus

There are some serious deficiencies on the availability of masks and gloves across the City’s Detective Squads and Commands. The DEA’s labor attorneys are filing a PESH (Public Employees Safety and Health) Complaint and we will keep you apprised regarding the result.
 
DEA members should document properly any encounters with anyone believed to have the Coronavirus. We strongly encourage members to file Line of Duty paperwork and get an Exposure Number if you come into contact while on duty with an individual who exhibits signs of a serious respiratory illness or who has tested positive for the NOVID-19 Novel Coronavirus.  Symptoms of the virus include difficulty breathing, runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. 
 
If you are denied an Exposure Number, document the name and rank of the person who denied it. 
 
However, even in those situations where the Department will not provide an Exposure Number to a member (because the individual with whom you have interacted has not actually tested positive for the virus), but where you still suspect, based on the circumstances present, that the individual may have the virus or is exhibiting symptoms consistent with having the virus, you must thoroughly document such interaction in your activity log and command log. (Please retain a photocopy or photograph of your notations with a time and date stamp.) Make a notification to your immediate Supervisor. Entries must have sufficient information so that you will be able to complete the appropriate paperwork (e.g. Line of Duty injury report) should the need arise in the future. The more information the better. 
 
Please inform the Union, and we will keep you apprised of further developments regarding this national medical predicament as we go about our jobs keeping the citizens of New York safe. The DEA is in contact with authorities on the federal, State, and City level to ensure our members have the proper protections and equipment. The DEA will always fight for the safety and protection of our members

Paul DiGiacomo
President


Document Your Exposure to Coronavirus

The Coronavirus circumstances have been reminiscent, in many respects, to our experiences with 9/11 and the environmental fallout from that catastrophic event. Since we are still dealing with post-9/11 illness 19 years later, we urge all members now to learn from the lessons of 9/11, and document, to your best ability, everything that now happens with respect to the Coronavirus during your daily work shift.
 
We cannot stress enough how important it is that you have a record of any and all interaction you may have with anyone you believe has, or has been exposed to, the Coronavirus.
 
We strongly encourage members to file Line of Duty paperwork and get an Exposure Number if you come into contact while on duty with an individual who exhibits signs of a serious respiratory illness or who has tested positive for the NOVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Symptoms of the virus include difficulty breathing, runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.
 
If you are denied an Exposure Number, document the name and rank of the person who denied it.
 
However, even in those situations where the Department will not provide an Exposure Number to a member (because the individual with whom you have interacted has not actually tested positive for the virus), but where you still suspect, based on the circumstances present, that the individual may have the virus or is exhibiting symptoms consistent with having the virus, you must thoroughly document such interaction in your activity log and command log. (Please retain a photocopy or photograph of your notations with a time and date stamp.) Make a notification to your immediate Supervisor. Entries must have sufficient information so that you will be able to complete the appropriate paperwork (e.g. Line of Duty injury report) should the need arise in the future. The more information the better.
 
Take all precautions necessary to safeguard your health and safety.
 
The DEA will always be in your corner, fighting for the rights and safety of our members.



Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc.
(212) 587-1000 Executive Office
(212) 587-9120 Health Benefits
info@nycdetectives.org


Our mailing address is:
Detectives Endowment Association, Inc
26 Thomas Street
New York,
 NY 110007

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Message from our CEA Disability Attorneys Regarding COVID-19

We would like to take this opportunity to inform the membership regarding implications of the current pandemic.  Members are cautioned to observe best practices and keep themselves and their co-workers safe.  COVID-19 is not enumerated under GML 207p, the Infectious Disease Bill, and potentially disabling residuals from this disease are likely not covered under the Infectious Disease Bill.  We strongly encourage members to file Line Of Duty paperwork and get an Exposure Number if they come into close contact with an individual exhibiting signs of a serious respiratory illness while on duty.  We would also like to remind members that suffer from World Trade Center-related illnesses that they are at higher risk of suffering more severe effects of this disease.  Please keep yourselves and your coworkers safe by taking proper precautions when dealing with the public and if you develop symptoms.

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Whether you are depressed, going through a separation, having financial difficulties, feeling anxiety, or anything else, you are never alone. Nothing is ever hopeless.

We cannot hide from this incredibly important discussion. We must not pretend that these things don’t happen, or that such tragic deaths are somehow a fact of life. Importantly, we cannot sit idly by and just pray that they don’t happen again. We have to take action now. We have to discuss mental health.

Each of us is dedicated to the important business of fighting crime and keeping New Yorkers safe. And this is an immensely tough job. But your personal life can be even tougher. You may have no idea your office coworker – or your sector partner, even – is dealing with a challenge for which they see no positive resolution.

But you need to know, and always remember: What seems unbearable today, absolutely will be more manageable tomorrow. The first step toward a solution is speaking to someone. And if you’re worried about a friend or colleague, you can make a confidential referral to our Employee Assistance Unit on their behalf.

This is about keeping our family healthy – and about saving lives. Your jobs require that you spend so much of your work day helping people in crisis. But, before you can take care of others, it’s imperative that you first take care of yourselves.

The resources are:

NYPD-SPECIFIC
- Employee Assistance Unit: 646.610.6730
- Chaplains Unit: 212.473.2363
- POPPA (independent from the NYPD): 888.267.7267


OUTSIDE OPTIONS
- NYC WELL: Text, call, & chat
 www.nyc.gov/nycwell
- Lifeline: 800.273.TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line: Law enforcement officers can text BLUE to 741741 (non-law enforcement can text TALK to 741741)

- Call 911 for emergencies

Seeking help is never a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of great strength. Trained members will listen and connect you with even more help, around the clock. I implore you to seek out – or to help others find – the assistance that is so readily available to us all.

Thank you for what you do every day and, please, always stay safe.

 



 

 


Membership dues will be collected for the new year at the meeting. 
Please bring a check for $35.00 and a completed application to the meeting. 
Members enrolled in ESS must also submit a application so we can keep track on your payments. 


Collecting 2020 Membership Dues.
2020 APPLICATION - 2020 APPLICATION

Members who do not pay their dues by June will be assessed a $10.00 late fee to $45.00.
JOIN - through through Employee Self Service, ESS Direct Deduction
Dues will $35.00 year round. Will be automatically be payroll deducted every year.

https://a127-ess.nyc.gov/psp/prdess/?cmd=login
Please Contact a
Precinct Delegate, Boro/Bureau Trustee or Executive Board member for the complete particulars for Events.
or e-mail
correspondingsecretary@nypdajs.org Please CC president@nypdajs.org
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upcoming events in the calendar year

-