St. Charles, MO — The St. Charles County Police Union, represented by Laborers Local 42 Law Enforcement Division is calling on county officials to enact COVID-19 safety protocols following a COVID-19 outbreak among recruits who participated in a recent training class where there were no pandemic safety protocols in place, such as masks, gloves, pre-class screening or social distancing.
Several recruits who participated in the class have since tested positive for COVID-19.
In addition, the recruits were placed with field training officers, with whom they rode in the same vehicle and responded to 9-1-1 calls before they knew their positive test results. Now several of the field training officers also have tested positive and an unknown number of citizens may also have been infected.
“Our requests to St. Charles County Chief of Police, Kurt Frisz, and St. Charles County Director of Administration, Joanne Laykum have gone unanswered,” stated Dave Reagan, field representative for Local 42 Law Enforcement. “We expect the County to take better care of our members and the citizens they encounter. The lack of COVID-19 safety protocols has exposed many in our community to COVID-19 unnecessarily.”
The county has since changed in-service training to all online classes, something the union says should have happened months ago when COVID-19 safety protocols such as masks, gloves, social distancing and frequent hand washing, were first made known to the public.
“To continue with a traditional defensive tactics class during a global pandemic was highly irresponsible and borders on gross negligence for the safety and well-being of the officers and citizens,” said Bill Stark, director of Local 42 Law Enforcement.
“We are calling on St. Charles County to please ensure that personal protective equipment is worn, common COVID-19 safety protocols are observed, to modify as needed, and reduce the number of traffic stops, and pedestrian checks to limit exposures,” Stark said. “These measures protect our enforcement officers and the people they serve.”
Laborers’ Local 42 Law Enforcement Division represents St. Charles County patrol officers, sergeants, bailiffs, and court security aides.
For more information, visit Liuna42stl.com/lawenforcement.