To better ensure the safety of the public and police officers, every patrol squad will now have four officers dedicated to a Medical Support Team (MST). These teams will be the first officers to respond to enhanced risk locations, such as a known COVID-19 subject, a CPR in progress, medical facilities, or locations with large groups of people.
“We have been very fortunate to have zero cases of COVID-19 at the Bellevue Police Department, and we are working hard to keep it that way,” says patrol Major Andrew Popochock. “We believe having these specially trained officers will help us accomplish that.”
MST members have received enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) and training. Each member of the MST is equipped with special masks, including N95s and an Avon Air Purifying Respirator, Tyvek suits, and gloves. Most of the equipment can be decontaminated and reused.
The specialized training includes proper use of the equipment, donning and doffing, and decontamination. In addition to keeping everyone safe, having four-member dedicated teams will help preserve the department’s supply of PPE.
“Protecting the health of our residents and our officers is a top priority,” explained Popochock. “To create these teams, we have taken measures to increase our patrol staffing levels so that we have enough officers to cover all regular calls for service, while also having the MST officers available to safely handle potential COVID-19 calls.” There are 33 officers assigned to the Medical Support Teams.