Dallas, Texas – The Dallas Police Association hosted COVID-19 testing Tuesday for officers and their spouses.
So far, 84 members of the Dallas Police Department have tested positive for the coronavirus.
“It’s important for us to let them know that ‘Hey, we care, and we are worried, and we are concerned, and we’re going to do our part to make sure you are safe,’” Dallas Police Association Vice President Jaime Castro said.
Castro said work in law enforcement doesn’t always allow them to social distance.
“With our job you are going to have to make contact, you are going to have to go hands on unfortunately at times,” Castro said. “They really get out there, they don’t complain, they have their concerns and who wouldn’t, but all in all I’m extremely proud of the way they’ve handled and the way they’ve reacted to the situation.”
Dr. Nick Karr with SafeWork coordinated the testing. His team has been testing employees at North Texas employers. He said his concern is for both the officer and their loved ones.
“Typically the risks they face are when they are working. But unfortunately COVID isn’t the kind of thing that you can leave in the squad car,” Karr said. “It’s the kind of thing you bring home with you potentially to your family, friends, and loved ones.”
Dallas Fire-Rescue has reported 46 of its employees have tested positive. An additional 61 are in quarantine.
Karr said the testing at the police association is crucial to identify possible outbreaks and to “minimize the number of individuals that get sick at any one time.”
Castro wants the community to see this too.
“It goes to show the community that when officers show up, you have that assurance that we have a healthy officer coming to my emergency calls,” Castro said. “We’ve had everything thrown in our direction all at one time and you have my assurance that we are going to be out there keeping the streets safe here in Dallas.”