As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress, the B.C. RCMP is taking precautions to ensure the safety of both the public and its officers.
The RCMP is continuing close work with local, provincial and national health agencies to monitor and respond to the situation.
“We are aware of the pandemic and our efforts will continue to be flexible and fluid based on the recommendations made by these agencies while ensuring our commitment to core policing duties and the safety of our communities,” said Staff-Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, the senior media relations officer for the RCMP’s E Division.
Shoihet said although officers are trained for health emergencies and routinely take precautions as they often deal with exposure to hazards such as bodily fluids, the RCMP is continually assessing its response and continuity plans in relation to the virus.
Officers are also being given information on what precautions to take when dealing with individuals of greater risk, what measures to take if an officer comes into contact with an individual suspected of being infected and how and when they should use personal protective equipment (PPE).
In the past month, Shoihet said, detachments have:
- Held briefings
- Done internal communiques
- Had employees complete the National Infectious Disease and Pandemic Preparedness on-line training
- Ensure all personnel have PPE
- Done follow up with members that have to assist in detention/isolation efforts.
“We are mindful that as an essential service we must continue to ensure public safety is not impacted, yet balance the needs of all of our employees, families and communities,” said Shoihet. “Detachment commanders and municipalities are working together to find solutions which safeguard employee’s health and well-being while not affecting core policing duties, i.e. closing or limiting front counter service and closing community policing offices.”