Ortt seeks added protective equipment for COs, parole officers during pandemic
Press Release, State Sen. Robert Ortt
State Sen. Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda) sent a letter today to Gov. Cuomo requesting that further measures be put in place to protect officers working in our state’s correctional facilities as well as parole officers.
According to a New York Post article, only officers who are dealing with sick inmates are provided PPE masks, while other officers are forced to work in close quarters with inmates who may have COVID-19, yet show no symptoms of the virus.
“The density of correctional facilities makes them a highly contagious environment, and keeping our law enforcement officers safe should be a top priority during an outbreak of an airborne communicable disease,” said Sen. Ortt. “Our corrections and parole officers’ inability to wear PPE puts both officers and inmates at risk and opens the door to the possibility of these officers bringing the virus home to their families. The state has designated them as essential; we know they’re essential; let’s treat them as essential.”
According to the New York Post, as of last Monday, 56 officers and sergeants tested positive for the virus — including the president of the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Michael Powers. There are also currently hundreds more in quarantine.