Dallas Police Department Officer Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Dallas police march in formal attire at the memorial event in 2017.
Dallas police march in formal attire at the memorial event in 2017. Brian Maschino
There are going to be a lot of notices like this over the coming days. The first of whatever group to be infected with the scourge of 2020, COVID-19. One of Thursday's firsts is a Dallas Police Department officer.

According to the department, an officer working out of the Northeast Patrol Division tested positive for the novel coronavirus Thursday. The officer is isolated and doing well, according to the department.

Three of the officer's co-workers are being quarantined as a precaution, the department said. A contractor is sanitizing the Northeast Patrol Division headquarters. 

"We know that some of our officers will contract the virus." — Dallas Police Department

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DPD has issued more than 3,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 6,000 boxes of gloves, according to the department. Still, the department acknowledges it isn't enough to fully contain the virus.

"We know that some of our officers will contract the virus. DPD is prepared to address the issue with sound medical advice from our experts as well as a contingency plan to maintain operations to keep the community safe," the department said Thursday.

The police department is taking the following steps to promote social distancing:

  • Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the front doors of Jack Evans Headquarters will remain open, and visitors will be screened at the window located at the front desk in the corridor. If a report is required and can be completed online, officers will give directions on how to access the online reporting system. If the visitors have an appointment, front desk personnel will notify the appropriate detective. The detective will come to the front desk and take the visitor from the lobby to the First Offender Room where the interview will be conducted. If the First Offender Room is being used, the detective will take the visitor to one of the tables in the Media Conference Room to conduct the interview. Detectives are encouraged to use DocuSign, telephone and email as much as possible during this time to limit the number of visitors to Jack Evans Police Headquarters. Detectives will notify the front desk upon completion of the interview and building services will clean the interview area. Detectives need to come to the front desk to see availability before scheduling visitors.
  • Between the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., all visitor interaction will occur via the intercom outside of the front entrance door. Personnel will follow the same process as during regular business hours should there be a need for entrance into the building.
  • DPD will also amend its sex offender registration procedures at Jack Evans Headquarters. Currently, detectives will ensure the information is accurate for all documented registered offenders who report for their mandatory check-in via a secured window. Offenders will no longer enter the secure work area.
  • For new sex offenders who are registering for the first time, detectives will continue to fingerprint and enter their information into the database. However, detectives will take all necessary safety precautionary measures when fingerprinting offenders. This effort is to reduce the risk of exposure for the detectives and offenders.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young