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Officers continue to serve despite fears

This series of day-in-the-life of stories provides a candid look behind the scenes of the Boulder City police officers who protect and serve Boulder City.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued, thousands were instantaneously put out of work, with unemployment soaring and reaching the highest numbers ever seen in Nevada and across the U.S. Almost everyone in the U.S. was watching horrific images on news broadcasts and live media feeds showing the path of infection, death and destruction the coronavirus was unleashing all over our beautiful communities and country.

There were gruesomely sad images emitting from the TV screens and video monitors alike. The images of bodies stacked high on wooden pallets that were being lifted by forklifts and placed into refrigerated semitrucks outside various hospital facilities in New York City.

The stealth killer, COVID-19, was now terrorizing the United States. It was absolutely unbelievable. And there in the background of those news feeds you could see a couple of New York Police Department’s finest law enforcement officers standing in vigilant respectful watch over the transfer of all those loved ones. What a daunting task and forever life-changing moment, not only for the officers in New York City but for law enforcement officers across the country, especially here in Nevada.

It was the beginning of the fight against COVID-19 for our Battle Born state. Our local law enforcement officers were wondering if those images would become a reality here, hoping and praying that no Nevadans would befall an ending such as what they were seeing in broadcasts from New York City and abroad.

Yet, our law enforcement officers took on the task like warriors fighting against the fallout of this stealth killer. Our law enforcement officers carried out their tasks and duties with the same willingness, dedication, tenacity and resilience as they do every day when that uniform and badge go on — a virtual suit of armor so to speak that these community superheroes proudly wear as they protect and serve us.

With COVID-19 in full effect across the state, more weight is added on a Nevada officer’s shoulders. He has already taken in multiple family members who have lost their jobs. As a result of the loss of employment they have also become residentially challenged.

What an enormous amount of weight in responsibility for a person to carry and still go out every day to protect and serve others in their community. They have to push the haunting thoughts of their own plight to the back of their mind so they can effectively comfort and assist others in the community who are in emotional crisis, helping them to get through the challenges of their plights.

Another officer, this one working in Southern California, speaks candidly about their fears of having to work in dangerously unknown conditions with Los Angeles’ homeless rate being one of the highest in the nation. Just regular daily interaction while on duty might cost them their health and/or their family’s health. This law enforcement officer describes how, on almost every shift, they encounter residentially challenged individuals suffering from untreated mental illness, who more often than not become combative. They have to go hands-on with these people. And now they’re having to do so without personal protective equipment.

The officer says that this is as real as fear gets for them and expresses serious concern that they or one of their fellow officers could become infected in a blink of an eye. Some of them have underlying health conditions so they feel that chances are infection from COVID-19 could mean death.

Then the officer shares how they’re also caring for their elderly parent and the parents of their spouse, concerned that they might carry this stealth killer home to them. The officer’s spouse is also out of work and they wonder how they are going to financially survive this pandemic with only the one income, four children at home, an elderly parent who stays in their guest room and two elderly in-laws across town in an assisted living residence.

Aly Rashaad is a dispatcher in Southern Nevada. She served as the director of fundraising and marketing for the LASD Road Racing Association for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which provided the NASCAR and positive leadership experience to at-risk inner-city youth. She can be reached at Alys.View@ymail.com.

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