SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield city officials are bringing in the National Guard to help with COVOD-19 management in the city.
Springfield Mayor Sarno said in a news conference that he requested 75 national guardsmen to support the police department after some officers are out due to various concerns of the coronavirus. Springfield Police Commissioner Clapprood told 22News that the department is down about 20 officers after testing positive for COVIDS-19 and 12 others are waiting for test results.
Clapprood said the other currently off-duty officers have health concerns that make working during COVid-19 challenging are in self-quarantine for coming into contact with someone with COVID-19.
National Guard members will be armed and under the direction of the police commissioner. Capprood says she hopes their appearance will be calming as they help the department fill any help they need during this pandemic.
The last time the National Guard was brought in was after the 2011 tornado and they helped with everything including directing traffic and shelter management at the MassMutual Center.