3/27/20 - Update
By Gary Bailey, Attorney - Friday, March 27, 2020
This message was sent by email to officers who have provided their personal email addresses to the Union. We remind you, DO NOT USE COUNTY EMAIL for unofficial business, especially union communications. County email transmissions are subject to FOIA. If you did not receive this message by email, contact the FOP and provide your personal email address so you can be added to future transmissions.
The events of the last several weeks have been exceptionally challenging for police officers and their families, and it appears these challenges will continue. Law enforcement officers across this country will be severely put to the test in the coming weeks. The Illinois FOP Labor Council wants to provide you with as up-to-date information as we get it.
Even before the start of the “Shelter-in-Place” Order, your Union leadership has been in daily contact with the Sheriff’s Office regarding issues involving officer health, officer safety, and officer pay and benefits.
At present, we have received confirmation that one officer from Markham has tested positive. If other officers have chosen to be tested, they have not disclosed a positive result to the Union or the Sheriff.
If you encounter issues regarding safety equipment, we urge you to address them promptly with your superior officers, but let your union steward know, too. If there are incidents where you are exposed to someone exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus or think you have those symptoms, follow the Sheriff’s protocols, but let your union steward know, too. We will continue to monitor the acquisition of safety equipment, and relay information whenever a Sheriff’s Police officer is exposed to, or tests positive for, the coronavirus.
We expect the County will soon address the matter of how “leave” issues will be handled for persons having to stay home from work due to coronavirus-issues. Jurisdictions across the state realize it is important not to penalize employees who responsibly stay away from the workplace when they are dealing with this illness and we expect the County will do the same. We are also pursuing other benefit and pay issues in the wake of this unprecedented pandemic.
You may already be aware of this, but there are a number of testing locations in the Chicagoland area available for emergency responders. They are:
• Walgreen’s, Bolingbrook: 695 W Boughton Rd, Bolingbrook, IL 60440
• Wal-Mart, Joliet: 2424 W Jefferson St, Joliet, IL 60435
• Wal-Mart, Northlake: 137 W North Ave, Northlake, IL 60164
• Illinois Vehicle Emissions Center, Harwood Heights: Forest Preserve Drive, East of Harlem
If you visit these testing locations, take appropriate identification with you to show that you are a first responder, otherwise you will not be tested. ARRIVE EARLY in the morning, as these sites are limiting testing to the first 100 who arrive.
Please also take advantage of the links to pages from the Illinois Department of Public Health on this website.
As a reminder, at www.fop.org, you will find the Labor Council’s website. It has dedicated page (“CCSP”) for Cook County Sheriff’s Police Officers. You can also access the page by downloading an app on your smartphone. In addition to information found on the website, and your elected Union Stewards and Officers receive updated information each and every day on union activities that are occurring with the Sheriff’s Police.