Law enforcement officers across the country know when they sign-on to wear a uniform, there are dangers that come with their career choice. Officers are trained to handle a number of different scenarios but in 2020, a new threat arose for which no one was prepared.
When COVID-19 arose, the world saw a pandemic unlike anything that had been seen in more than 100 years. Although this threat was new, one thing remained the same - law enforcement officers faced it head-on and continued to perform their duties—despite the risks to their own health and that of their families.
COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be the key to put an end to this deadly virus. While now widely available, securing a vaccine was extremely difficult when it was first released. During a daily COVID-briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that, if possible, large unions, police, firefighters and educators should attempt to organize plans to vaccinate their own members in coordination with local health departments. This announcement came as good news to the Suffolk County Police Department.
The SCPD Homeland Security Section created a vaccination Point of Distribution, POD, thanks to the department’s Medical Crisis Action Team (MedCAT). This group consists of approximately 30 sworn members who are EMT Critical Care providers or paramedics who possess the credentials to provide vaccinations. Since hosting its first POD, the Suffolk County Police Department has vaccinated nearly 21,000 individuals, including members of the SCPD and outside agencies. The department has also set up PODs at various locations throughout the county to ensure access to residents including the disabled and senior citizens.
Every vaccination is a potential life saved. It has also been rewarding work for the police officers and supervisors who have staffed the POD. The members of the department’s MedCAT have allowed the department to contribute in a substantial and meaningful way during the COVID-19 pandemic by running its own PODs and increasing the pace at which the vaccine is administered in Suffolk County.
Truly every shot matters and the expression, all hands on deck, has never been more appropriate.
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