Springfield PD: 14 officers have COVID-19; first responders not on state PPE distribution list

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –  Police officers and firefighters have been removed from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Department of Public Health protective gear distribution list, according to the Springfield Police Department.

In an email to 22News on Wednesday, Springfield Police Department spokesman Ryan Walsh reported the following numbers since March 23:

  • 14 Springfield Police Officers have tested positive for COVID-19
  • 4 Springfield Police Officers are awaiting test results
  • 2 have returned to work
  • 12,098 calls for service
  • 7 illegal firearms recovered
  • 3 homicide arrests
  • 0 N95 masks from the Commonwealth

According to Walsh, the city of Springfield has been waiting weeks for N95 Masks and found out only after looking into the status of their delivery, that first responders had been removed from the priority list. 

Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said she was stunned when she found out the state no longer considers first responders a priority when it comes to receiving N95 masks.

“I was stunned when I found out that the Commonwealth no longer considers first responders a priority to receive these N95 masks,” said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. “I echo Mayor Sarno’s sentiments by saying it’s time for our state and federal emergency officials to use some common sense and give our police officers and firefighters the protections they need and deserve.”

Since the coronavirus outbreak, the department says Commissioner Clapprood has been able to acquire two N95 masks for each officer through various donations, but the masks can only be used a few times before they lose their protective fibers.

We thank Facebook corporate, MassMutual and other private businesses who have stepped up with mask donations during this pandemic. Wednesday afternoon Holyoke Medical Center donated 400 KN95 Masks, 540 faces shields and surgical masks. 

Springfield Police Department

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