CHICAGO (CBS) — Thursday the Chicago Police Department was hit with the news of an officer’s death related to COVID-19, and now the wife of a sergeant says more needs to be done to protect the staff.
COVID-19 has taken its toll on first responders, and it has hit the Chicago Police Department and their families particularly hard. In passing one officer told CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar that to say there is a lack of supplies is an understatement.
“To say that we are stockpiled and first responders all over Chicago are protected, that is false,” said Sophie, who is married to a CPD member.
CBS 2 is not using Sophie’s last name, but she is married to a member of CPD who is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.
“It is scary,” she said. “To say goodbye to your loved one every day knowing that they don’t have the PPE. They don’t have the gloves, the sanitizer, the cleaning products, the masks.”
Friday 983 CPD officers called in sick. That’s about 7.2%, which is down slightly from a day ago when it was announced that a veteran narcotics officer died from COVID-19.
Seventy-six CPD members have tested positive as of Thursday.
“We have spray and a trash bag and every day because they do not have the cleaning supplies that they need at work and they don’t have protection, they’re coming home to their families and we’re having them strip down,” Sophie said.
But mayor Lori Lightfoot and Interim CPD Supt. Charlie Beck deny those claims.
“We prepared as well as anyone has done,” Beck said. “Does that keep everyone 100% safe? No, it does not.”
“We’ve given them the tools that they need to be able to respond appropriately,” Lightfoot said.
“If the first responders in the City of Chicago don’t have the protection they need or cleaning supplies they need in order to protect them, they’re not going to be able to protect any citizen they come into contact with,” Sophie said.
CBS 2 asked Sophie why she decided to speak up. She said that if she doesn’t speak up for our first responders she doesn’t know who will.
Thursday night CBS 2 had pictures inside CPD headquarters showing pictures provided by civilian employees, of them eating lunch right next to each other, shoulder-to-shoulder, despite social distancing guidelines. The photos were taken just last week.
Now Beck is responding to the story.
“I visited that lunchroom that was profiled in that story this morning,” Beck said. There was nobody in it, but I saw some measures that we could take that would make social distancing more automatic.”
Beck did not go into detail about what those changes could be.