Police work in the context of a pandemic

the coronavirus epidemic clearly showed that the police services of most countries of the world were not ready to work under quarantine, what conclusions we should draw and how to influence the situation

Police work in the context of a pandemic

Work of police in the conditions of a quarantine and a pandemic
During the world pandemic, the majority of the media most often consecrate doctors, appreciating their contribution, personal participation and self-sacrifice in the fight against the epidemic of a new dangerous viral infection. To be sure, this is right, because doctors are currently at the forefront of fighting the dangerous virus and risking their health on a daily basis, and sometimes their lives saving people.
However, journalists seem to forget that no less contribution to the fight against coronavirus is made by police officers, who, like doctors, take to the streets, roads, train stations, airports every day with a risk to life, go down to the subway, ensuring order and safety of people. It is law enforcement officials who monitor compliance with quarantine requirements and strict isolation. By holding back the spread of infection, they also, like doctors, expose themselves and their loved ones to a huge risk of infection on a daily basis. In the fact that to date the spread of Covid-19 has been slowed down, and in some countries and stopped, there is also a great merit, which, unfortunately, as it often happens, will remain without gratitude and gratitude. Our citizens don 't like to praise and thank the police. Maybe it 's worth changing, isn 't it?
Enough foreword, it 's time to move on to the main thing. The situation with the spread of COVID-19 in the world has also changed the work of the police. It is important to note that most countries of the world have faced such a threat for the first time in 100 years, and I would not rule out that something is just the beginning of the «Age of Global Epidemics». New ones, such as compliance controls, by residents of the quarantine regime and related restrictions, have now been added to the day-to-day tasks of police officers. Daily, police officers are forced to work closely with a large number of people, including potential (and in some cases explicit) carriers of infection. Such conditions create an increased risk for police officers of contracting a dangerous infection, and a high level of infectious danger requires serious protection measures. The only problem is that these protections are practically non-existent!
From the very beginning of the epidemic, I have carefully studied photos and videos of various media where police officers are present in the frame. Photos and videos from Russia, China, and the United States of Europe clearly show that in addition to medical masks and gloves, police officers have no other means of protection. Police services in most countries of the world were simply not ready to work in a global and long-term pandemic. Police officers who serve on the street simply do not have special clothes, shoes, equipment, personal protective equipment designed to take into account the professional characteristics of police services. Officers patrol in regular uniforms, shoes and headgear that are not intended for frequent disinfection, even if it is carried out once a day, although this must be done several times a day, every 2-3 hours.
Disinfection is necessary, including in police transport and other equipment. The medical masks used are not suitable for the police, these masks are too fragile and not suitable for work on the street. The same applies to medical gloves, they are made for doctors, not for police officers, in them it is impossible to serve on the street for 10-12 hours, to drive a car, to use weapons and special means. Special clothing and equipment for tasks under conditions of contamination, which the military uses for the needs of the police is not suitable, because the tasks, which are solved by the police completely different.

I am more than convinced that the global pandemic is similar (I do not rule out that it is more serious), the one we are seeing today is not the last, and in the near future mankind will face such threats more than once. We therefore need to draw conclusions and prepare for this while we still have time before the next epidemic. And there appears to be very little time left.
For this purpose, it is necessary to add to the list of standard police equipment and equipment - a set of special uniforms and equipment for working during the epidemic of dangerous viral infections, in territories where there is a high probability of the spread of such infections, as well as when terrorists use bacteriological weapons.
The kit shall consist of the following items:

1. Uniform
All-season set of police uniforms with possibility of modeling for application in different temperature modes using additional removable insulating elements.
The mould should be made of high-quality materials, reliably protect the police officer from external impacts (sun, snow, rain, wind, cold), have breathable and water-repellent properties. An important point should be that this form should withstand repeated purification, including using special chemical disinfectant solutions. In addition, it must combine its protective properties with such qualities as strength, ease and convenience for permanent wear for 10-12 hours, which is necessary for the daily work of the patrol police officer.
This kit should also include shoes, headgear and gloves, and they should have similar quality and protective characteristics.

2. Individual protection equipment
The kit shall include a special mask for respiratory protection. This mask should be different from the medical higher strength and convenience of wearing, it is important that it should be reusable.
The mask must be made of strong elastic materials. Be suitable for use in any weather conditions and at various ambient temperatures. It should withstand multiple cleaning, including using special chemical disinfectant solutions, as well as, crucially, have replaceable air filtration (purification) elements, various levels of protection. The mask should be universal and allow the use of air filtration elements of different degrees of protection (as well as combining these elements) depending on the situation, the level of infection of the terrain and the degree of bacteriological danger of the virus.
In addition to the mask, special eye protection glasses must be included in the kit. These glasses should be made of strong materials, be convenient for long wear, withstand multiple cleaning, including using disinfectant solutions, and have additional removable elements to protect against blinding sunlight.

3. Wearable disinfecting and hygienic set
The equipment of a police officer working during the epidemic should include a kit for the self-disinfection of clothing, shoes, weapons, equipment and personal protective equipment.
With the help of such a kit, the police officer should be able to carry out sanitary treatment of hands and face, as well as disinfection of his uniforms, personal protective equipment, other equipment, as well as the cabin of the patrol vehicle, anywhere and at any time without assistance.
The kit shall include:
- A set of personal care products that must have individual sterile bags of antiseptic gel for washing hands, face and hair on the head, without the use of water, also antiseptic mouthwash and disposable antiseptic wet wipes.
- Portable ultraviolet (bactericidal) lamp, with autonomous power supply, for air decontamination in small premises, for example, in a cabinet or box where uniforms, shoes and equipment are stored, in the cabin or trunk of a service car.
- A set of disinfectant solutions in aerosol packages for the self-disinfection of clothing, footwear, equipment, personal protective equipment, objects and premises, cabin or luggage compartment of a service vehicle.

As you can see, there is nothing supernatural about the measures I have proposed, it is not so difficult and not so expensive. The development and introduction of such specialized police equipment will protect police officers from viral infections during daily tasks during the epidemic.
If we take all necessary measures now, order the development of uniforms, shoes, personal protective equipment and disinfectant equipment, in the event of the next pandemic, the number of injured police officers will be significantly lower than it is now.

* there are no exact data, but as of the end of May, 2020, the number of victims of a new koronavirusny infection of police officers in the countries of the world already goes on tens of thousands of people.

This means that law enforcement agencies will be able to fully ensure law and order on the streets of cities, preserve the life, health and property of citizens. Apply quarantine measures, which means eliminating the epidemic more quickly with much less severe consequences.
If we do not use the time available to us before the outbreak of the next pandemic and do not prepare, it is not known whether we will be able to survive the next epidemic at all.

To told above I would like to add one more:
The world pandemic has shown that most countries are not ready for it. It can be said that we are still lucky that in this case we faced a virus that is already familiar with medicine and is not the most dangerous possible, and also has not the highest fatality. More scary is another, imagine that it would not be a natural virus, but a targeted bacteriological weapon used by terrorists in the form of modernized virus «Plague,» Smallpox, «Rabies» or «Anthrax.» Even with the most optimistic forecast, the death toll would be tens of millions.
I am absolutely sure that representatives of criminal structures and extremist organizations are watching the pandemic situation very closely, studying all its aspects in detail. There is no doubt that they will necessarily draw conclusions from this situation and then apply them in practice. The question is whether law enforcement will have anything by then that they can counter them. Unfortunately, what we are seeing today is not encouraging.

date of publication - on July 14, 2020
author Grishin Roman, Russian Federation
photo taken from the site © 2020 Thomson Reuters

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