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Eight 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer, 5,000 mini bottles; Omaha police stock up for coronavirus

Eight 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer, 5,000 mini bottles; Omaha police stock up for coronavirus

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The Omaha Police Department has stocked up on supplies for its officers who may be exposed to the novel coronavirus.

The department has purchased eight 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer and 5,000 empty mini travel bottles. It’s unclear which lucky employees have been assigned to fill all the bottles.

“We’re basically producing our own hand sanitizer bottles,” Deputy Police Chief Kerry Neumann said Friday.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer told Neumann to “drastically overbuy” supplies in order to prepare, Neumann said.

The department also bought 100,000 pairs of latex gloves.

The barrels and supplies will be distributed to all five precincts and the headquarters building, at 505 S. 15th St. Officers can take and use them as needed.

Cruisers already have sanitizer wipes and disinfectant spray, although those items are getting hard to find.

Officers are responding to calls for service normally, Schmaderer said this week, but operations may change depending on what happens with the coronavirus spread.

The Omaha Police Department suspended all travel, outside training and its volunteer program Wednesday, Schmaderer said.

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Alia Conley covers breaking news, crime, crime trends, the Omaha Police Department and initial court hearings. Follow her on Twitter @aliaconleyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1068.

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