Interacting with people, especially strangers, has been banned for the past year. However, in order to perform their duties, a worker may not have the choice of being potentially exposed to COVID-19. This is the case with police officers.
Since last March, police officers have been in excessive demand. Overtime is required to ensure that there are sufficient resources to enforce the rules related to health measures.
As Sergeant Ann Mathieu, spokesperson at the Sûreté du Québec, explains, the work of the police officer has remained the same, but it is the interventions processes that have changed.
“The patrollers have adapted, says Mrs. Mathieu. It is important to realize that the police officers must protect themselves, but they must also protect citizens. Protective equipment was also provided to officers. It is nothing new for police officers to have to adapt. It’s part of the job.”
In the Sûreté du Québec stations, no outbreaks have been reported since the start of the pandemic. Ann Mathieu points out that as of January 21st , 2021, 13 out of 8,000 employees were tested positive.
“As soon as a police officer has symptoms of COVID-19, they are removed from duty. Unit managers also have an obligation to question workers every day. It is obvious that the Sûreté du Québec asks its employees, civilians and police to be vigilant. We also have certain employees who are teleworking since their tasks allow it.”
When an arrest occurs, the police have the protective equipment to do so while ensuring their safety and that of the person arrested. Even the transport is done while respecting the rules.
“The person is supposed to have a mask so that helps with protection. The police officers also wear the mask during transport. In addition, the majority of patrol cars are equipped with a partition. It also provides security.”