Cleveland police officers issued ponchos to use as protection during COVID-19 crisis

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland police officers have been given new protective equipment amid the COVID-19 crisis — rain ponchos.

The ponchos had been for sale at the I-X Indoor Amusement Park when the park had a water ride. The I-X Center says it donated 5,000 ponchos for the city administration to use how it wanted.

“This is just one way we can give back to our community and help protect those workers with the highest exposure to COVID-19,” said I-X Center Executive Vice President Lisa Vo.

One officer shared a note about the ponchos, which said, “You will be receiving rain ponchos to use as we would a paper gown. Officers would wear this if arresting a COVID-positive suspect or going into a COVID-positive home.”

The city has been giving Cleveland police masks for themselves along with masks to put on suspects during arrests.

But privately, many officers wonder how a poncho will protect them from the coronavirus, WJW reported.

WJW sent a series of questions to the Cleveland Police Department and City Hall about the ponchos and other safety equipment. Officials have been slow to respond to any questions about anything to do with the conronavirus, and as of late Wednesday afternoon, there had been no response to inquiries about the ponchos.

One union leader estimated that about 500 ponchos have already been distributed to Cleveland officers.

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