Area law enforcement agencies say they have the personal protective equipment they need for now to handle calls while guarding against exposure to the coronavirus.
But as the crisis goes on, face masks, gloves, cleaning supplies and other necessary protective equipment could become scarce, officials said.
Trooper Corey King, public affairs officers for KSP in Henderson, was on his way Wednesday to pick up hand sanitizer made by a distillery in Frankfort. King said he was also scheduled to receive more hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies from O.Z. Tyer and Glenmore distilleries in Owensboro.
“When the supplies aren’t there, you have to improvise,” King said.
The Henderson post is working with emergency management agencies in both Daviess and Henderson counties to obtain supplies, he said.
Emergency management agencies “have a direct link to federal sources” of personal protective equipment, King said.
Daviess County Emergency Management Director Andy Ball said he has a long list of community agencies for which the EMA staff is trying to procure supplies.
“It’s probably around 90” agencies, Ball said.
Emergency management agencies can draw on regional resources and the federal strategic reserve, Ball said. Federal supplies are coordinated through Kentucky Emergency Management.
“I just put in eight requests” to the state, Ball said Wednesday morning.
Officer Andrew Boggess, public information officer for the Owensboro Police Department, said, “We are taking every opportunity we can to get supplies where they are available.”
“Right now, we have adequate supplies. How long that will hold up is a big concern,” Boggess said.
OPD has also received supplies such as hand sanitizer from O.Z. Tyler, and said, “I think, long term, there are new sources to help provide something” to responders. “... I know there are different factories that are making supplies that weren’t previously available.”
Major Barry Smith, chief deputy for the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, said the sheriff’s office has issued gloves, hand sanitizer and other protective equipment to deputies.
“We have extra hand sanitizer and cleaner that was acquired by the county through one of the distilleries,” Smith said. “The county and EMA have been assisting us with that.
“I know the county has done a good job of finding resources to get us what we need,” Smith said.
Smith, like Boggess at OPD, said the sheriff’s office has the protective gear it needs for the time being.
“It may be, in two or three weeks, we may need some more items,” Smith said. “We just have to play it one week at a time.”
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse