CHICAGO (CBS) — State authorities are investigating a bed bug infestation at Chicago Police Headquarters.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has this Original Report.
This year officers kept personal belongings in Ziplock bags, desk crevices were taped to trap bedbugs. The goal was to avoid officers getting bit.
In 2014, an officer had bites on his ankle. Another had bites just below the calf. One was bitten on the back of the neck.
“I do not understand why the department would not take the position of being protective on their employees because it is in their best interest to protect the entire building,” said Marlon Harvey, Chairman Safety Committee FOP Lodge 7.
A few months ago, an anonymous complaint was sent to the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Illinois OSHA). Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office received this letter. It requests information be sent by November 3, 2016 about the “pest control plan” at headquarters.
A Chicago police spokesperson said, “The department brought in teams to treat the area. We take the infestation seriously and called in exterminators as soon as we learned. Given that HQ is a public building, these are difficult to prevent.”
Marlon Harvey is the Chairman of the Safety Committee of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7, the union representing Chicago police officers. Harvey said even though pest control has taken place, ”it’s clearly obvious, it wasn’t effective.”
Harvey lodged the first complaint on behalf of officers back in 2014 with Illinois OSHA.
“State inspector came out,” Harvey said. “Was able to do an onsite investigation and determined that bed bugs did exist at that time.”
Harvey said bedbugs hide under tattered carpet and scurry away, when it’s lifted.
“The Lodge recommended tile,” Harvey said. “It would reduce the opportunity for the bedbugs to migrate.”
The position that the city is taking is not adversarial, but let’s work together to fix the problem, Harvey said.
The city asked for an extension to reply to the Illinois OSHA request. A mayoral spokesperson has not responded for comment.