As we continue to navigate through this health crisis, we are faced with some serious long-term considerations. The health and well being of the SOA membership, as well as department personnel, continues to be our top priority. Should you or a member of your household be ill, please let a board member know so that we can see how we can be of assistance to you.
Members should continue to be vigilant with PPE protocols and other precautions to limit exposure. Be mindful of the department orders that have been issued regarding distancing and the number of personnel that need to be at certain calls for service and monitor that these orders are being adhered to by your personnel. This will help to ensure maximizing officer safety. Should a department member request exposure paperwork be done, please facilitate that. This continues to be an evolving situation and procedures could be modified as we progress through this crisis.
We do not know how long the measures that are being deployed nationally, statewide and locally to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus will last. These measures include many businesses being closed and/or having severely curtailed operations. This has resulted in the sales tax revenue being diminished in the county and numerous other projected income sources are either reduced, waived or the due dates are being pushed back to assist our residents.
We do know that this is creating a serious and difficult fiscal problem for the county. As a result, the county has reached out to all the unions to discuss an agreement to delay the payment of our longevity checks, which are scheduled to be paid on April 16th. We have not yet agreed to anything, including the time frame for the payment to be made. We want to keep you apprised of what is happening, as this will have an immediate impact on the membership.
The fiscal viability of the county is obviously something that directly affects all of us. I have been in contact with the other police union Presidents and will continue to coordinate our efforts to best serve our membership, while trying to assist the county in reasonable ways.
The department may have to take measures to adapt to personnel shortages should the number of infected department members continue to grow. There is nothing definitive at this point. We must see how operations are impacted as we go forward.
We will weather this storm as we always do. Keep up the great work out there. Your strong leadership is vital as we police the county during these difficult times. It is critical that the department continue to provide for the public while taking care of those that are out there every day doing the job.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this difficult time.