Detroit Police Chief James Craig
Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been diagnosed with COVID19. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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By Jake Bleiberg and Corey Williams, Associated Press

More than a fifth of Detroit’s police force is quarantined; two officers have died from coronavirus and at least 39 have tested positive, including the chief of police.

For the 2,200-person department, that has meant officers working doubles and swapping between units to fill patrols. And everyone has their temperature checked before they start work.

An increasing number of police departments around the country are watching their ranks get sick as the number of coronavirus cases explodes across the U.S. The growing tally raises questions about how laws can and should be enforced during the pandemic, and about how departments will hold up as the virus spreads among those whose work puts them at increased risk of infection.

“I don’t think it’s too far to say that officers are scared out there,” said Sgt. Manny Ramirez, president of Fort Worth Police Officers Association.

Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Nearly 690 officers and civilian employees at police departments and sheriff’s offices around the country have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Associated Press survey this week of over 40 law enforcement agencies, mostly in major cities. The number of those in isolation as they await test results is far higher in many places.

Anticipating shortages, police academies are accelerating coursework to provide reinforcements. Masks, gloves and huge volumes of hand sanitizer have been distributed. Roll call and staff meetings are happening outside, over the phone or online. Precinct offices, squad cars and equipment get deep cleaned in keeping with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

Yet, many are worried it’s not enough. This week, groups representing American police and fire chiefs, sheriffs, mayors and county leaders asked President Donald Trump in a letter to use the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to ensure they have enough protective gear.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo
Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

“We’re in war footing against an invisible enemy and we are on the verge of running out” of protective supplies, said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “We’ve got hospitals calling police departments, police departments calling each other, and it’s time to nationalize in terms of our response.”

Police are accustomed to meeting staffing crunches by canceling vacations and leave, putting officers on 12-hour on, 12-hour off schedules and, when necessary, by shifting detectives and other specialized personnel to patrol.

And officers are used to risk. It’s part of the job. But at a time when Americans are being advised to stay six feet from each other to combat an insidious virus that can live on surfaces for days, the perils and anxieties are new.

This crisis is unlike any American police forces have dealt with before, said former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

“We’re in unprecedented territory here,” said Davis, who led the police department when the Boston Marathon bombing happened in 2013.

Streets are less crowded as people hunker in their homes. But police must prepare for the possibility of civil unrest among people who become anxious or unhappy about government orders or hospitals that get overrun with patients, he said.

In New York, which has rapidly become the American epicenter of the pandemic, more than 500 NYPD personnel have come down with COVID-19, including 442 officers, and the department’s head of counter-terrorism was hospitalized with symptoms. Two NYPD employees have died. On a single day this week, Friday, 4,111 uniformed officers called in sick, more than 10% of the force and more than three times the daily average.

Leadership at America’s largest police department maintains that it’s continuing enforcement as usual. But they’ve also said that if the disease continues to affect manpower the NYPD could switch patrol hours, or pull officers from specialized units and other parts of the city to fill gaps — steps also taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

But the U.S. is now leading the world in the number of confirmed cases; more than 100,000. Over 1,700 people have died in the country. And doctors say cases are nowhere near peaking.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, based in Washington, D.C., said police can’t just go out of business.

“They need to have ways so that if one person goes down, who’s going to back that person up, so departments are having to be innovative,” he said.

In big cities and remote areas alike, officers are being told to issue tickets or summons rather than making arrests for minor crimes. More crime reports are being taken by phone or online. These steps to limit exposure come as police must beef up patrols in shuttered business districts and manage spikes in domestic violence.

In Detroit, officials say many of those quarantined should return to duty soon. In the meantime, an assistant chief recently released from quarantine is heading up day-to-day operations while Chief James Craig is out.

Many officers are also worried about whether they’ll be able to draw workers compensation benefits if they get sick, since the coronavirus is not spelled out in the list of covered conditions.

“No one really knows,” said Robert Jenkins, president of the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police union, which covers 22,000 officers. “Unfortunately, we have to be out there. We don’t have a choice.”

While the pandemic has so far hit American cities hardest, rural law enforcement agencies with few staff are in some ways most vulnerable.

In the tiny West Texas community of Marfa, Police Chief Estevan Marquez instructed his four officers not to pull over cars for minor traffic infractions, especially if they’re passing through from areas already hit by the virus.

He can’t afford for anyone to get sick.

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    • We would be more than happy to see your proof for that ridiculous comment….but we know you have none…but…that’s ok..just torch up another one and relax. Licking toilets seems to be the latest fad…why don;t you try that.

    • Deep State Stooge Art ‘the fart’ Assholevedo has the right idea.

      The Same one the Globalists are pushing. MORE CENTRALIZATION. Just like the Socialist Democrats, the only thing the psychopathic Globalist Elite have to offer is more of the same.

      Isn’t Globalism and the resulting interdependence what causes Pandemic Spread in the first place? Oh, and the Chicoms intentionally releasing a stolen engineered virus and covering up the infectious nature so it would spread.

      Yeah, this IS war, Art. Against the Globalist Elite and their Stooges like you.

      • people should really take a look at a place like Hungary…an island of sanity in a sea of liberal lunacy…and a place where the infection rate is substantially lower than those countries around it…and then ask why?……

    • people who bought..[or already have]..guns….could see this coming….that’s the type of “common sense” that makes sense….

  1. I never purchased a gun with cops in mind. That is so ridiculously absurd. Wether they are sick or not makes no difference to these decisions.

    • And you represent everybody, right? There are a lot of new gun owners who feel differently. It’s what the gun community has been telling people for decades. You can’t count on the police to save you.

      • It is precisely that fact that I can’t count on them the reason why they will never be a factor in this for me.

        I represent me. Only me. It’s what I am, a free American. I see no reason to consider anything else. Buying and owning firearms is a good thing but doing it based on what cops do if very scary. That puts everyone in danger.

        I will never buy a car based on JD Power and assoc. awards either.

        My advise: understand just what it is that you put money down to own. Know how it works, when and how to use it, and when NOT to.

        • The article was put out there for public consumption. As a member of the public, this is my two cents. Nothing more and nothing less.

          Do with it as you will.

        • i can’t imagine anyone arriving at the conclusion that less patrols might equal greater mischievious opportunities.
          but to those that already had that figured out well before the force was compromised, well, i’m really impressed and thanks so much for sharing.
          you’se a pimp.

      • Everyone should have understood that pandemics don’t discriminate and a reduction in civil services was a 100% guarantee. Throw in whimsical prison releases, and official declarations that the healthy cops aren’t going to be doing much, and you’ve got yourself a perfect storm of civilian gun purchasing. I don’t like the “panic buying” narrative, I think it’s just normal prepping. Every gun owner bought their “first gun” at some point. I won’t malign these noobs at all.

        • Agreed. Temporarily the crime rate has dropped because everybody is at home. But sooner or later, likely sooner, the bad guys are going to have to feed that monkey.

          And when they get desperate enough they will not care if the family is home.

        • My first was bought out of love. I saw that Ruger 22/45 and I had to have it. I might not ever part with it.

        • I’ve got lots of sellers remorse. When I was young and poor I parted with a Kimber 1911 to fund a house paint purchase. I mean, the house looked nice but still…

        • As I have said before legalizing drugs does not reduce crime. It never has. People who say that are lying to you. Because no one wants to have an unreliable drug addict working for them. So they steal. And they will steal your stuff “to feed that monkey”. So when they come for your stuff. You shoot them dead.

          Yes I know according to the Libertarians Liberals and the Left you have no right to defend your private property with deadly force.
          They have been saying that on TTAG over and over again for quite some time now.

        • ” legalizing drugs does not reduce crime. It never has ”

          Not quite true. The mere fact of moving a behavior from the criminal category to the non-criminal category will reduce crime, only because what once was illegal is not not illegal.

          I think the point you’re trying to make there is “legalizing drugs does not change behaviors.” Or something like that.

        • To up in arms
          Drugs are illegal now. Addicts steal. They burglarize, assault, attack, break into private property. They commit sexual assault and even murder all under the influence of an illegal substance.

          Now if that substance has been legalized in your Utopia. The drug addict will still burglarize,steal, break into private property. Sexual assault people. And commit murder and commit rape. All under the influence of a legalized intoxicant.

          The lie comes when those that believe in legalizing drugs will somehow change the behavior of a drug addict. It does not. The drug legalization crowd is lying to themselves and to the rest of the world.

          If your argument is people have a right to put things into their body and Destroy themselves. Then I would agree with that. But the drug legalization crowd believe there is no cost to their belief system. And they are simply once again lying about it.

        • We need to look deeper than just to drug users, who indeed will remain useless, lying thieves even if drugs get legalized.
          The point is that even if drug addicts do everything exactly like before legalization, their act of buying and possession of drugs is no longer illegal. That’s crime reduction right there. Not insignificant one.

          Now, if government doesn’t overtax the newly legalized drugs, prices drop steeply and organized crime loses the incentive to deal in drugs. Mobs don’t shoot the streets up in fights over liquor stores control. That means reduction in crime of illegal drug dealing.

          Distributors of legal product can call cops and sue if they run into problems. Illegal drug dealers have to take care of their problems themselves, often by shooting them. There is another reduction in violent crime.

          We already know all that. We’ve been there, we tried the Prohibition and saw what that misguided approach to drug misuse brought us. At least, hundred years ago it was done by Constitutional amendment process, not just by adding another substance to a “forbidden” chart by some faceless bureaucrat as it’s done today. Progress!

          Drugs are very bad. But illegal drugs are much worse.

        • To someone
          I find it laughable that now Libertarians have taken to inventing a name “someone ” to hide who they are. And try to make an argument supporting their stupidity. San Francisco and the rest of California has already decided to make things they were once illegal, legal. Or putting them in a category that while still illegal, will not investigate that crime. The police will not return your phone call. They will not show up at your place of business or your home if you call them.

          The Libertarians Liberals and the Left, the drug legalization crowd. They are all simply playing a numbers game. It was also legal in the United States to rape a black person. To hang them and burn them at the stake. Those were not crimes either. The recorded murder rate was very low back then as well.

          The drug legalization crowd believes they can remove a stigma to a crime by making it legal. They have really deluded themselves. And in order to keep that delusion in their own mind, they have become a Liars to the rest of the world.

          Conservatives have told liberals to go ahead and make the minimum wage in the United States $100 an hour across the board. If they believe in their ideology so much. Well why doesn’t the legalization crowd simply make murder legal. That would reduce the crime rate also. Because they say that making drugs legal will reduce the murder and crime rate.

          As I have said on TTAG before. “Power flows out the end of a gun barrel”. And very stupid people believe that the drug cartels are going to give up their power, give up their guns, simply because drugs all of a sudden have been made illegal. They will not give up their guns. And they will not give up their murdering, raping, Mayhem creating ways.

  2. TTAG may want to do a story on New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grishamm. She ordered all non-essential businesses to close. Gun stores were not formally listed as non-essential, so they remained open and conducting business as usual.
    State Police are now going to all the gun stores IN PERSON, informing firearm dealers that they ARE to remain closed to the public until further notice.

    • Gun dealers should go to all the police stations IN PERSON, informing cops that they ARE to remain closed to the public until further notice. And NOT get paid.

    • Quote: “State Police are now going to all the gun stores IN PERSON, informing firearm dealers that they ARE to remain closed to the public until further notice.”

      Firearm dealers should file class action suits against the Governor and the State Police. Hopefully there are videos of the police telling them to close.

      • Yeah, they should film the interaction with the government. For the public to see and if they go to court.

    • Well recently in this country, our press put China in a very good light for showing Italians how to fight this virus. Our leaders, press, and celebrities are busy reminding everyone that this isn’t really China’s fault. And don’t mention where it came from, because that’s racist!

    • Now that Trump got his 6.8 trillion dollar bill, that sort of nationalizes the economy via socialist mechanisms, he has been speaking positively of China.

      So, I think the authoritarians of the world would thank China for allowing their plans to be successful without violence.

      Posted Nov 4, 2019. Right around the time there was whispers of a new virus. December the Chinese knew about the new virus and were shutting up doctors to allow the spread. In December the U.S. was aware of this, in January Trump attempted to hide the info from the public and downplay the virus.

    • Our governmental leaders are too stupid to deal with a virus that they knew about months ahead of time and you think that we’re in any position to do something about China?

      • Watch the video I linked above.

        They are not stupid. That is your fear speaking. They are smart and they planned this out. They actively allowed the spread, they discouraged Americans from taking it seriously [it’s just the flu, bro]. Now they want to lock down everything, nationalize the economy and bring out the military.

        They were doing a dry run last year with the military. They had their Event 201 Exercise right when the virus was released in China. This is something they have been thinking about for years, as you could read in their corporate writings [Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development].

        I know people like to attribute incompetence to their government because it makes them feel safer. If the government, as a whole, was that dumb you should be more fearful.

  3. “Friday, 4,111 uniformed officers called in sick, more than 10% of the force and more than three times the daily average.”

    Wonder how many are truly sick. No duty to protect. Hence 2nd amendment.

  4. Wu Flu or Blue Flu? Without tests, there’s no way to tell. One thing is certain, though — cops always get home safe at night if they never leave home.

    • Wu Flu or Blue Flu?

      Excellent question Ralph.

      A good friend of mine is a nurse at a major regional hospital near one of the four COVID-19 epicenters in the United States. As we are all hearing, her hospital has no protective gear left for staff. Her husband told her to tell the hospital that the hospital can “kiss her @$$” and she will be staying home until the hospital can provide respirators, face shields, gloves, and gowns.

      I suspect something like 20% or more of law enforcement and healthcare staff will soon be refusing to report for work. To be totally honest, I empathize since they do not have proper protective equipment.

      • My mother works as a monitor technician for select speciality my dad got her gloves and masks. Her boss said that she cant wear that stuff because she will cause a panic. Its inside of a larger hospital that could use it as an over flow for a situation like NY. It makes me sick that they refused to let my mother protect herself I wish she would quite but shes nearly 60. Not alot of places looking to hire someone at that age.

  5. Stress and exhaustion, like with people being overworked, reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. As it gets bad, they can expect it to get worse.

  6. Ahhh at last no more cops. Now We the People can do what needs doing. I think criminal activity is going to be a risky business without police protection.

    • It’s just a matter of time until the Democrats propose unemployment insurance for criminals who are adversely affected by the current unpleasantness. Oh, and dental too.

        • Past that point, last I heard she was bitching about immigrants (just ignore their status) not getting the money, criminals may be too American for her to care about.

        • Billy-Bob Aoc made a good point she said about giving it to ppl who are becoming citizens and are actually paying taxes but dont have a social security number yet. They have some sort of tax Id # and pay their fair share. However no illegals deserve this money I agree with that whole heartedly.

      • Things that help an early parole. A permanent residence and employment when released. One chap said he has a job when released. Asking what Job that was he replied “stealing cars”

      • Patrolling the streets? Typical. Does Happy Jacker the rapist fear the courts or Mad Dad with a hard on for vengeance and no cops to stop him?

  7. At the risk of sounding like I am beating a dead horse, this is just one of many reasons that compel us to have one or more effective means of self-defense.

    Remember, there are thousands and thousands of opportunistic human predators among us. Sooner or later they are going to smell opportunity and test the waters. It is in your very own self-interest that you be prepared for that eventuality.

  8. I’d imagine street muggings are down – no one on ’em ! So now the predators will need to branch out into home invasions. Like the Scouts taughtus(back when they were the BOY Scouts) Be prepared .

  9. Yeah, screw the front line care workers and public, give them more under-trained knobs with itchy fingers to shoot people in the back for shoplifting or choke them out for selkling singles. Cops have all the military gear they need. An armed public will take care of the miscreants. Maybe lets focus national attention on all the folks without jobs and the BS bills they are drowning in, baks got a bail out maybe now is a good time to re-think debt forgiveness for anyone not making $100k a year.
    Covid-19 doesnt discriminate, we are all f*ck3d so lets get our heads out of our collective arses and help eachother for a god-darned change.

    • All these people need help paying off their x-boxes , ps-4’s , hoverboards, and oversized wheels. Why pay for food when you have a ebt card? All the cash on hand is for meth and pot.

      • The “what” they spend the money on is irrelevant. The fact that CASH is an option is a problem to begin with. If you want to spend your money on pot, meth, coke, whatever, that’s your business, and should be allowed to do so. However, you spending taxpayer money on anything other than essentials is what I have an issue with.

      • Not for pot, too many of us grow our own. My cash will be for ammunition or reloading supplies, then those can be used to feed and defend my family.

    • The feds have now determined ALL GUN STORES ESSENTIAL. So these idiot leftists cannot shut down gun stores. Unfortunately that will not help the people who live in communist states like Illinois and Kalifornia who along with other states run by morons , have waiting periods ,gun owner cards, and ammo restrictions . I am so happy I live in a free state.

  10. Not bad around here…just the usual crime & attempted BS. And whining about Trump. Knock on my polymer guns😏 Southern Cook county. Haven’t seen any po-leece mass absences…

  11. “Anticipating shortages, police academies are accelerating coursework to provide reinforcements.”

    So now the “Highly Trained Professionals” will become the “Somewhat Trained Professionals”

  12. The Libertarians Liberals and the Left have always complained that the police arrest too many people. They say the court system is filled with people who committed no crime against another person. Victimless crimes they said. Well then gun owners will take care of it themselves.

    Historically we have shot people dead on site who did us wrong. That way you don’t have to deal with the courts. You just have to pay for the Undertaker. And that is how it was historically done in America.

    Before we became “civilized”.

  13. I buy guns because I like guns.

    But I get it, fear and uncertainty on the rise and all. Lack of leadership showing from those responsible for our “collective security”. Most common reaction is to try and think up ways to make your own situation safer, more secure.

    It’s only “common sense” gun buying, after all.

  14. It will not be desperation that drives the unrest, it will be the absence of Police and the burning desire for a “free” big screen TV.

  15. That’s what happens when your government says masks don’t work and the government doesn’t sanitize public areas. Now the police are trying to get masks after the other parts of the government took them all. I bet all those cops that kept writing tickets got the virus [karma].

    Outside of hospitals, I would guess the police are the ones spreading the virus the most. No officer should be allowed to make contact with the public unless wearing a proper mask. They have become more dangerous to public safety than ever before.

    This is why the militia is not an outed concept and should be in use rather than the Army, National Guard and unconstitutional law enforcement departments. Also, deputizing should be an option.

    The cops patrolled the area too much before the government announced COVID is here. Once they heard about the virus, I haven’t seen them pass through the neighborhood unless they were lights/sirens. They are no longer hiding in their regular spot to catch people violating traffic laws. People now can come out of their house to take their daily walks not stressing over the cops stopping them and those driving don’t have to worry about having their COVID papers at the ready.

    The National Guard is being sent door to door…

    • The military [National Guard] has setup up checkpoints and is going door to door searching for escaping New Yorkers. Once they find the New Yorkers they must register their persons and get their papers or they will be taken away.

      • I’m down with hunting New Yorkers with dogs. Make sure you confiscate their hot dogs and pizza before sending them off to the re-education camps eh?

      • The only thing you are showing is to reaffirm that the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. The Second Amendment recognizes are right as citizens of the United States to the possession of flamethrowers. Grenade launchers, battleships, armed aircraft, landmines, and any other Implement of arms that we choose to use to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government.

        And because of the examples you have shown. There are many people who will Now understand what the Second Amendment is all about. And they will learn how they have been lied to by the government education system.

        Especially since government representatives have been telling them that they can buy guns online delivered directly to their homes.

      • Sounds like a great way to spread the virus will they be changing their ppe after each visit and maintaining social distancing?

        • The military are forced to get all kinds of shots. Maybe they already have been vaccinated for the virus (it’s not like the government even tells them what’s in the shots).

        • Here is a video showing some of them following orders. The police and military are working together.

      • The military didn’t bring their armor and guns to help with a “medical mission.” We are now seeing why they were secretly mobilized weeks ago while the government said what they are doing is not martial law. They said don’t panic, it’s not martial law, don’t listen to the concerns on the internet they are fake news.

        The water is heating up as the spread is happening.

        At first, people claimed the trains with the military vehicles was normal. Then they said the military is only mobilizing not activating. Then they said the military is now activated (days after it was). By that time they were already in Washington, California and New York. The government said the military were only going to help with the medical mission not to impose any martial law/policing. Now they are going door to door, are setting up checkpoints and “hunting” down Americans. This just started happening a week ago, what’s next?

        Are Americans going to be sent to private prisons, where they have been housing illegal immigrants, to force quarantine? They are already setting up curfews and using drones with infrared cameras to monitor the area after curfew. The Democrat election has been postponed. How far is the America people going to let this go?

        No wonder anti gun liberals are lining around the block to buy AR.15s.

        • can’t see how you’re going to have political conventions under these conditions…it’s even possible the election could be postponed….

        • To chief censor
          You do realize that the private prisons that you speak of were built and invested in by Tom Steyer the former Democratic candidate for president? In fact he became a billionaire in the private prison business. I’m sure the Democrats want those private prisons filled. Don’t you think so?

          Interesting how Trump built hotels for paying customers to stay in. Where has Tom steyer built private prisons for Americans to also pay to stay in.
          Because some Democrats want prisoners to be forced to pay out of their pocket to stay in a private prison.

  16. “Leadership at America’s largest police department maintains that it’s continuing enforcement as usual.” If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

    If you thought “stay fetal” (the unofficial Chicago PD motto) was in effect before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Even if cops want to get out there and find criminals, what are they supposed to do with them? Jails don’t want em. Judges don’t want to be in a room with them. Other than cuffing them and driving them out to somewhere in the boonies to be let go, there are no real options to deal with offenders unless they’re committing violent felonies.

    Cops have even less PPE than healthcare workers and can’t easily wear it and do their job anyway. Social distancing is sometimes impossible and often disregarded. And sadly a lot of cops didn’t take this seriously because they watch too much Hannity and thought this was “just the flu.”

    For very rural areas there will be little effect. But cities?

  17. The cops are afraid of everything. The nurse is doing her job and she is exposed everyday to the virus. Don’t be a bunch of “officer safety” cowards. Do your job or get out of the way and let us exercise our Second Amendment.

  18. I didnt panic buy or doing anything reactionary I passed our usual cop today hes still out in his honey hole. I did order some upgrades from they sent me my order in 5 days I ordered Monday picked it up at the post office yesterday. I got a bad lever, Odin works extended mag release, and magpul vertical grip. I intended to use this tool for coyotes and paper so I never got these basic upgrades but I hope they’ll make me a little faster and if not they make me feel better lol.

  19. So, you never really answered “Why Americans are now buying guns.” I guess I “gotta’ go out there and get me a gun so I can start shooting them viruses…..”
    WHAT SCARES ME is all those guns in untrained/unsafe hands. You know, I’ve been advocating GUN SAFETY should be required to be taught in every school before our children are allowed to graduate from high school. I said it in 1970, and it is true today. Even if you are an anti-gun fanatic/idiot, your (now) anti-gun kids are going to go visit a friend’s home where there are guns. Shouldn’t they learn to be safe around them?

  20. A virus has nothing to do with my purchases: I have been legally buying firearms for the past 38 years. Nothing has changed here. As Robert said – gun safety needs to be taught in schools. I was in high school in the early 80’s in central Indiana, at that time the state police conducted a drug search at our school with dogs. All vehicles were searched along with lockers in the school. The police and school personnel went through every car , they did not blink an eye at the 12 gauge mossberg 500, or the marlin model 60 in the trunk. And I had ammo for both. We lived in a rural community, nobody thought I was up to anything wrong.


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