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Nebraska State Fraternal Order of Police pleads for more first responder protection amid COVID-19

NE FOP hopes governor will help with new order
Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 30, 2020

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — Although police departments and sheriff's offices are taking extra measures to protect their safety amid the coronavirus, the Nebraska State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), a union representing different agencies, is asking for more protections from the governor.

The FOP wants Governor Ricketts to implement an order to allow county heath departments to share information with 911 dispatch, that way officers and deputies know which houses may be infected and where to use extra precaution.

"Even with the limitations that the police chiefs and sheriffs have put to minimize the risk, we are still going to be making contact with people in the community and it would be unfortunate if we were the ones transmitting this disease," president of the Nebraska Fraternal Order of Police, Jim Maguire said.

The FOP knows this may be a privacy issue, but Maguire says there's a way to give out this information, without including names, or blasting the information through police scanners.

"The federal government has already issued an order through their health and human services stating that what we're asking for is legal," Maguire said.

They want the governor to make this an order to help local law enforcement with this as quickly as possible.

"It would just be a lot easier if the governor would just approve this so we can put this behind us and get all of the maximum measures that we can to limit the spread of this virus," Maguire said.

The governor said in his Monday news conference that law enforcement should be asking standard questions regarding fever and travel before interacting with people, when possible.