May 19, 2020

Rapid City police officer tests positive for COVID-19

The Rapid City Police Department has recently learned that one of its officers has tested positive for COVID-19.

The RCPD learned of the positive test result late Monday afternoon. When the officer first began developing symptoms, he immediately informed his supervisor. In accordance with CDC guidelines, the officer has not returned to work since first developing symptoms and remains in self-quarantine.

Supervisory staff of the RCPD are currently in the process of determining a timeline of where the officer had been called to and what contacts the officer may have made within the last two weeks. The RCPD is also taking further precautions by monitoring the health of employees who may have had contact with the officer.

“This has been a troubling week for the RCPD as an agency,” says Chief of Police Karl Jegeris. “This is the second time in seven days in which an officer has been presented with an extreme risk in the course of their service to the citizens of Rapid City.”

Steps the RCPD is taking to continue to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 include:

  • Ensuring each officer is equipped with personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, face shields, etc.) should they encounter someone showing symptoms of the virus
  • Working close with medical personnel of the Rapid City Fire Department to ensure safe transport of individuals showing signs of the virus
  • Ensuring work spaces, including the inside of patrol vehicles, are properly sanitized each shift
  • Self-monitoring for symptoms associated with the virus, and staying home should any present themselves

“As a law enforcement agency, we serve a critical infrastructure role,” says Jegeris. “We are not in a position to discontinue our services to the community, however, we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the day-to-day work of our officers. As we pray for the speedy recovery of our officer now diagnosed with COVID-19, the public should rest assured that our team is doing everything they can to ensure public safety for our community.”

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