“To ensure we maintain operational efficiencies, we are implementing our emergency schedule in a phased approach,” read a statement from the department’s public information officer, Ingrid Hornibrook.
Under the full emergency schedule, employees who can work from home will do so and investigate staff will serve as backup for patrol. Investigate staff will also work on three rotating shifts. Those on patrol will work five days followed by 10 days off to serve as a “built-in quarantine period,” which is similar to the police department’s emergency schedule from March.
Chief Mike Tusken was one of the 29 members in quarantine as of Friday and noted that most of the employees who undergo quarantine never test positive. Fourteen police department employees have tested positive since mid-October. That’s 6.7% of its staff, which consists of 157 sworn officers, 26 civilians and seven parking enforcers and 18 seasonal or part-time staff.
“The DPD will continue to do our due diligence to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we serve the city of Duluth,” the statement said.
The police department asks for the public’s help in keeping the community safe by adhering to state guidelines such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, cleaning hands and staying home when sick.
Tusken said Friday that no matter the circumstances, the department is positioned to safely serve the city and respond to 911 calls.
The police department uses contact tracing when an exposure is suspected, he said, and staff have access to rapid-testing services.