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Heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition

Nearly A Fifth Of Detroit Police Force In Quarantine For COVID-19 Exposure

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Over a hundred are expected back in a matter of days, as the police broadly quarantine anyone working with officers that test positive for coronavirus.

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Nearly a fifth of Detroit’s police force is in quarantine from potential exposure to COVID-19. That’s 398 of the department’s 2,200 officers.

City officials estimate 180 police will return to work in a matter of days, following a two-week isolation period. 

It has been headquarters, it has been special operations unit, it has been precincts.” - Mayor Mike Duggan

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Duggan says the Detroit Police Department is checking officers for high temperatures before work. He says 25 police have tested positive for the respiratory illness, and for the first time, a member of the Detroit Fire Department.

But there’s been no patter to which officers are put in quarantine.

It has been headquarters, it has been special operations unit, it has been precincts,” said Duggan.

When an officer tests positive for the disease, other officers who worked alongside them are put in a 14-day quarantine, and are likely to return to work pending their own results.

Duggan says in the meantime officers are stepping up for patrols, swapping units, and working double shifts.

We’ve seen about a 15 to 20 percent drop in 911 calls, and an even greater drop in crime.” - Mayor Mike Duggan

Right now, we’re in good shape,” Duggan said. “How long can our officers continue to work this kind of overtime before we get folks back, we’re going to see.”

But while officers are working overtime, they’re reporting less incidents.

Since the governor issued her stay-at-home order on Monday, we’ve seen about a 15 to 20 percent drop in 911 calls, and an even greater drop in crime,” said Duggan.

Eli Newman, Reporter/Producer

Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops. Follow @other_eli

This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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