CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — In a move normally reserved for severe storms, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has gone on indefinite accident alert.
The move means deputies will only respond to certain crashes, such as those involving an injury or an impaired driver.
“If we can avoid contact, that’s what we’re trying to do at this point,” said Sheriff Tony Spurlock.
Spurlock says the move is also an attempt to limit the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) being used by deputies.
“We probably have enough PPE to last us for maybe two more weeks, if that,” he said.
It’s a similar story 40 miles away at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
“The estimation is that we have personal protective equipment only for the next two weeks, and then we’re out, and that’s the time this thing is going to peak,” said Sheriff Jeff Shrader.
On Thursday, officials in El Paso County revealed the first known law enforcement death in the state involving COVID-19.
“If we can’t keep our public safety officials, police, firefighters, EMS dispatchers safe from this, they’re not going be in a position to help everybody else who’s going to need it,” said Shrader.
Shrader says one deputy in his department has tested positive for COVID-19.
Spurlock says nine Douglas County deputies have tested positive, with three more likely.
“Today we have 28 people out sick with symptoms,” he said. “So yes, we’re very concerned about it.”
Both departments have ordered additional PPE, but are unsure when it will arrive.
“We’re having to wait in line just like everybody else is,” said Spurlock.