Aurora police, firefighter numbers down because of coronavirus

More than 50 emergency service responders — police and firefighters — in Aurora are in isolation, unable to work their essential shifts because of coronavirus concerns.

Twenty Aurora police officers are in quarantine, along with nine civilian employees of the department. Twenty-five Aurora Fire Rescue firefighters are temporarily off the job.

The officers, civilian police department employees and firefighters are staying away from work for a variety of reasons relating to coronavirus including exposure and being symptomatic.

“Right now it is not a very large number,” said Officer Matthew Longshore, a police spokesman. “We are not incurring any short staffing.”

The department employs 744 officers and 237 civilian employees.

“We are still above our critical staffing levels, and we are still good with the amount of officers we have on the street at the moment,” Longshore said. “It’s a fluid situation. We’re having to adjust, just like anyone else.”

Some officers have been getting overtime to fully cover staffing. Everyone out on isolation will go through proper protocols and safety measures before returning to work.

Longshore would not say whether anyone on staff had tested positive for coronavirus.

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Some of the firefighters in isolation are awaiting test results, and some have shown symptoms of COVID-19, said Sherri-Jo Stowell, a department spokeswoman.