(BLOOMINGTON) – The Bloomington Police Department has received several inquiries about the guidelines that officers must follow with regard to the wearing of face coverings.
Officers of the Bloomington Police Department are required to wear masks when responding to calls for service in which they must enter buildings.
Officers are also required to wear masks when interacting with members of the public outside in areas in which maintaining appropriate spacing of at least six feet is not possible.
However, there are certain emergent calls that officers respond to in which the exigency of the response does not allow officers the necessary time to don a mask prior to engaging with individuals involved in the call. Officers’ primary responsibility as a police agency is to protect the citizens of the community and officers cannot prolong their response to emergent calls for help for the purpose of putting a mask on.
It is imperative that officers responding emergent to calls for assistance focus their attention on driving with due regard for the public and we do not want them attempting to put a mask on when driving.
However, officers are encouraged to put a mask on as soon as practical once a scene has been made safe.
Officers are not required to wear a mask when driving their patrol vehicles alone or when outside in situations in which proper physical distancing guidelines can be adhered to.