SHILOH, Ill. – Police in Shiloh got a little extra peace of mind following a coronavirus scare over the weekend, as a business in a neighboring city stepped up and disinfected the entire department.
From the brief, frantic 911 call on Sunday, officers responded to what they thought might be a domestic disturbance. Instead, they found a woman down with symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection. The case highlights the added anxiety first responders now carry with them every time they answer that call to serve.
The woman was tested. Her results just came back negative.
Still, a team from ServiceMaster in neighboring O’Fallon, Illinois came to restore a little peace of mind for officers on Thursday.
They disinfected about a dozen police cruisers, as well as the police station; dousing everything with an environmentally safe, virus-killing fog that gets into places you can’t reach with wipes.
“We’ll fog it all down, get up underneath it, the seats, all the crevices,” said ServiceMaster owner Ray Kelly. “We’ll blow it through the ductwork. Then we’ll go in and as a precaution, wipe down all of the high touchpoints. The police are always out on the front line along with medical people. A lot of times police don’t have the gear.”
Like the rest of us, police are social distancing to keep from potentially spreading the virus among their fellow officers, as well as the citizens they serve.
In Shiloh, that means officers are staying out of the building and staying in their cruisers as much as they possibly can.
“That’s what they work out of,” said Shiloh Police Chief Rich Wittenauer. “We try to not only maintain social distance with the public but amongst each other. They know they’re only coming into the station when they need to.”
Kelly, a former Air Force police officer, did the job below cost when the price for that kind of treatment on your vehicle could run about $200, he said.
That kind of support means a lot to the officers, who know this pandemic and people’s dependence on them to help get through it, may be far from over.