St. Louis, MO – Some officials from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are working from home so they don’t get exposed to coronavirus by interacting with the officers who have been out on the streets.
Sources told Blue Lives Matter that multiple officials in District One are telecommuting during the coronavirus pandemic while the rank-and-file officers have each been handed goggles, one mask, and gloves, but left to buy their own sanitizer to protect themselves as they interact with the public.
“The command staff is worried about contracting the virus from the beat officers,” one source told Blue Lives Matter.
The St. Louis Metropolitan P.D. denied that any officials were telecommuting from home when contacted by Blue Lives Matter.
“In the interest of ‘Social Distancing’ all districts have been given the authority to use satellite locations to minimize personal contact,” St. Louis Metropolitan Police Sergeant Keith Barrett told Blue Lives Matter in an email. “This helps reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 if a member of our department comes in contact with persons that might be infected.”
“With that said no one is working from home,” Sgt. Barrett added.
However, department sources confirmed that at least seven District One officials were logging in from home to supervise officers patrolling the Bevo Mill, Boulevard Heights, Carondelet, Carondelet Park, Holly Hills, Mount Pleasant, Patch, Princeton Heights neighborhoods, as well as portions of Dutchtown and South Hampton.
Blue Lives Matter reached out to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to learn more about how the department is enacting its social distancing protocols, including whether the homes of the officials who are telecommuting have been designated as official “satellite locations,” as Sgt. Barrett’s remarks implied.
We also asked whether those officials all lived within the confines of the police district they were supervising, and whether officials from any other districts had put “satellite offices” in their homes.
Sgt. Barrett responded that “the directive authorized was previously mentioned in my last email.”
There were 502 positive cases of coronavirus in Missouri as of Thursday afternoon, and eight people have died, according to Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker.
Forty-four residents of the city of St. Louis have tested positive and one has died.
The much-larger, adjacent St. Louis County has 173 positive cases and has had one fatality.