Once again COVID-19 is affecting the way law-enforcement operates on a daily basis.  The virus has stricken at least two members of the Albany Police Department’s Communications Division.

Both Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany Police Chief, Eric Hawkins stressed the importance of the health of their employees.  

Two members of the Communications Division have tested positive for COVID-19.  There are at least 10 other employees of the 911 center who have been displaying symptoms of the disease.

The Albany Police Department activated contingency plans to make sure that the emergency dispatch services for their department will continue to operate properly.  The department will coordinate with the Albany Sheriff’s Department and the Colonie Police Department.

The communications center continues to enforce strict guidelines for their employees in an attempt to lessen the risk of more exposures.  All employees must wear their masks at all times while working.  Employees in the 911 center are considered essential employees and they continue to face a higher risk of exposure than non-essential employees.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan signed an Executive Order that would temporarily change Municipal Service Rules for the hiring of new employees in the communications center.  The order would temporarily lift some of the strict guidelines for employment.

The services of the 911 center are things that we have in our everyday lives that we could easily take for granted.  The people on the other end of the phone when we dial 911 are often overlooked.  If there is no one on the other side of the line when we dial 911, we would all be in trouble.

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