Since the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Culver City Police Department has continued to provide the Culver City Community with the highest level of police services, while implementing a plethora of safety policies, procedures, and best practices related to the virus to help safeguard the health and safety of our Police Department members and the community we serve.
The police department has partnered with the Culver City Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to create and maintain our policies, procedures, and practices. Those measures were not only implemented within the Police Department, but many of them have been adopted throughout the City through the Culver City Emergency Operations Center.
Some of the safeguards implemented within the police department include:
- Staggered work schedules for administrative employees to enhance physical distancing.
- Increased procurement and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment to all department personnel.
- The implementation of a policy requiring officers to don face coverings while in the station and during all public contacts.
- The closure of certain police facilities including the lobby and the records section public counter.
- The procurement of immediate 24-hour turnaround testing for any employee displaying signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Increased daily cleaning of all station facilities, seven days a week.
- A weekly professional decontamination of all police vehicles and common or high traffic areas within the police department, including our jail facility.
- The use of video conferencing to facilitate virtual meetings and department intercommunications to increase physical distancing.
- The implementation of a daily infection check, including a temperature check, for all employees and visitors that enter the police facility.
- The formation of one main point of ingress and egress for employees to enter the police facility to minimize the touching of doorknobs and public contacts.
- The implementation of a policy requiring anyone entering the police facility to sanitize their hands with products provided at a hand sanitizing station which is set up at the department’s main point of entry and exit.
Last week, two Culver City Police Officers began experiencing flu-like symptoms, both losing their sense of taste and smell. Fearing the officers may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, the officers were immediately sent home, quarantined, and testing was conducted. Within 24 hours, it was determined that the two officers had contracted COVID-19.
Several Culver City Police Department employees who had prolonged direct contact with the officers, were also sent home, quarantined, and tested. Unfortunately, three additional Culver City Police Officers tested positive for COVID-19. All five officers were placed on quarantine for 14 days, as recommended under CDC guidelines.
Upon identifying an outbreak of COVID-19, the department took proactive measures and immediately directed all non-patrol (uniformed police) employees to work from home to minimize personal contact between department members, notified the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and secured immediate testing through a private medical services vendor for all department personnel. The testing was conducted in a manner designed to minimize contact between the participating personnel with staggered testing times and drive-up testing being conducted in a safeguarded area. All non-patrol personnel are continuing to work from home until a confirmed negative test result is obtained.
After the testing was completed, an additional police officer and two professional staff tested positive for the virus; bringing our total positive cases to eight. These employees were also placed on quarantine for 14 days. We are still awaiting the results of about 11 tests but as of now about 124 department members have tested negative for COVID19. The department is still having all non-patrol personnel work from home or work modified staggered schedules until further notice to minimize personal interactions between employees.
The Culver City Police Department will continue to diligently work with the Culver City Fire Department, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and the community to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19. Public safety is the Culver City Police Department’s number one priority and department personnel will continue to respond to calls for service and meet all of Culver City’s public safety needs.
For further information, call Sgt. Andrew Bellante at 310-253-6316.