RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) A Rapid City police officer tested positive for COVID-19 and now the department is tracing his steps over the last two weeks.
In a RCPD release, the department said they are "determining a timeline of where the officer had been called to and what contacts the officer may have made." This includes monitoring other RCPD employees who may have had contact with the officer.
The department learned of the positive test results late Monday afternoon. The officer, when first developing symptoms, notified his supervisor and stayed in self-quarantine.
“This has been a troubling week for the RCPD as an agency,” says Chief of Police Karl Jegeris. “This is the second time in seven days in which an officer has been presented with an extreme risk in the course of their service to the citizens of Rapid City.”
Jegeris was referring to the May 13 officer-involved shooting where a suspect was shot and killed after reportedly opening fire on police during a traffic stop.
That suspect also turned out to be infected with the coronavirus, prompting testing of all RCPD and state investigators involved in that shooting. Those officers tested negative for COVID-19.
RCPD's current measures to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 include:
· Ensuring each officer is equipped with personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, face shields, etc.) should they encounter someone showing symptoms of the virus
· Working close with medical personnel of the Rapid City Fire Department to ensure safe transport of individuals showing signs of the virus
· Ensuring work spaces, including the inside of patrol vehicles, are properly sanitized each shift
· Self-monitoring for symptoms associated with the virus, and staying home should any present themselves
“As a law enforcement agency, we serve a critical infrastructure role,” says Jegeris. “We are not in a position to discontinue our services to the community, however, we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the day-to-day work of our officers. As we pray for the speedy recovery of our officer now diagnosed with COVID-19, the public should rest assured that our team is doing everything they can to ensure public safety for our community.”