Austin PD will start testing uniformed officers for COVID-19 every week

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Starting Thursday, the Austin Police Department will begin testing its uniformed officers weekly for COVID-19, Austin Police Chief of Staff Troy Gay announced Wednesday.

Gay says APD is working with Austin Public Health to determine when testing is needed, and testing protocols will be tied to the city’s current COVID-19 infection rate.

Gay says 55% of APD officers have been vaccinated through the City of Austin’s Public Safety Wellness Center. This number doesn’t include the number of officers who may have been vaccinated through their own private care physicians, however.

This comes after claims some cadets resigned from the training academy after testing positive for COVID-19. APD says that’s not true.

The department told KXAN this week any cadet who can’t make up in-person training, due to any injury or illness, won’t be able to complete the course. Cadets who resign are eligible for the next cadet class, though.

“Our Academy staff make every effort to work with cadets who have missed class due to injury or illness. Due to the academy’s training structure, it is not always possible to provide additional time necessary for the cadets to complete the requirements needed to graduate,” an APD spokesperson said Tuesday.

“We want our officers to be the best trained for this city, and we’re not gonna push somebody out that is not ready and prepared,” Gay further explained Wednesday.

Gay disclosed in total, 18 cadets resigned from this class. Eight of those were because of injury or illness. He didn’t say whether or not some tested positive for COVID-19.

APD is working to make sure those eight cadets have a spot in the next cadet class.

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