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Heroes of COVID-19: Pima County Sheriff’s Department

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The men and women in blue put their lives on the line every day and now, their health. It is a risk they said is worth taking and planning ahead is key.

"Haven't had nearly the problems some other agencies have had," said Pima County Sheriff's Department Risk Manager Robert Matthews.

That is the outcome you get when agencies like the PCSD are prepared to fight the coronavirus.

"Getting the early start and looking at what was coming down the pipe, was key to doing that," said Matthews.

But Matthews told News 4 Tucson, it is a double edged sword.

"We are not carrying something or that we are not spreading the virus but also at the same time, that we are not in a position where we are getting the virus and then bringing it home."

Certain protocols are in place to keep the department's nearly 1,400 employees and you safe.

"Just the social distancing, wearing the P.P.E. appropriately and taking those extra steps to have themselves in a safer environment," said Liaison between Capt. Doug Hanna of PCSD and Pima County Health Department.

These deputies are out in our community and responding to calls. However, correctional officers at the jail are also at risk.

"Our Correctional Officers are in a closed housing unit with up to 72, if not more, inmates," said Hanna.

Measures are also in place to keep officers and the inmates safe from the virus.

"Sanitary conditions, making sure the housing unit is clean and virus free," Hanna said. "But also, the entire jail. We still have people coming and going into the jail, out of the jail whether it is staff or new arrestees."

"Isolating individuals who are COVID positive or has signs or symptoms of COVID, that was the smartest thing to do," said Matthews.

PCSD said, so far, it is a success.

"Unfortunately, some agencies have lost some officers due to COVID. We have not. Not saying we have not have gotten sick but luckily we have not lost anybody."

Eight hundred people in the entire PCSD department have tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Allie Potter

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