How the Coronavirus Is Changing Police Work
It's happening wherever cupcakes. Are being frosted songs are being recorded and engines are being tuned. Adp is designing a better way to work with industry leading. Hr talent time benefits and payroll more companies rely on ADP than any other HR partner from small business to global enterprise. See how ADP can help you. And your people achieve what you're working for him at designed. Adp DOT COM ADP always designing for people after a hectic week of negotiations. The two trillion dollar corona virus rescue package is a done deal plus how the pandemic is changing police. Work kind of a hard situation. It's just a job you can't do from home and you can't do from six feet away. It's Friday march twenty seven. I'm Anne Marie for totally for the Wall Street Journal. Here's what's News President trump has signed a two trillion dollar stimulus bill into law. It's the biggest economic relief package in. Us history earlier in the day. The House passed the bill with a voice. Vote those in favor say Aye. Those opposed say no. The motion is adopted. The bill provides direct payments to Americans and expanded unemployment insurance. It provides loans and grants to businesses and state governments and it sends resources to healthcare providers fighting the corona virus the Senate passed legislation unanimously earlier. This Week Wall Street Journal reporter Natalie. Andrew says the bill represents a rare moment of bipartisan agreement caps. Ten Days of just insane late nights back and forth drafts being traded of the bill not knowing quite what was in it until the Senate win to vote on it. I mean senator has got the copy of this eight hundred page bill minutes before they voted on it while though many of them had been involved in negotiation so they were aware of what was going on and then the house went up and passed. It was almost kind of jolting end to a tumultuous week but they did applaud members universally Republicans and Democrats while they may say they don't agree with every aspect of the bill they recognize this very important time to get relief to the country prior to president trump signing of the stimulus bill. Us stocks closed down for the day. But they still manage to hang onto strong weekly gains. The Dow fell more than nine hundred points on Friday or about four percent but a weekly gain of fourteen percent made it the indexes best week since nineteen thirty eight. President trump says. He's ordering General Motors to start making ventilators to deal with a nationwide surge of corona virus patients officials said the company and the White House had been discussing a contract worth about one billion dollars but the talks broke down over how quickly the devices could be made. Trump has been relying on a wartime law to spur companies to make necessary medical equipment in the UK. Prime Minister Boris. Johnson is confining himself to his residence for a week after testing positive for the corona virus. I am working from home. I'm so isolating -lating and that's entirely the right thing to do Botts via diet that I can continue a thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against Kuroda bars. Johnson is the first leader of a major western nations to say they have the virus. The diagnosis raises the possibility that many of the key players Britain's fight against the disease have been exposed worldwide. There are now more than five hundred. Eighty six thousand confirmed corona virus cases according to Johns Hopkins University and more than twenty six thousand. Eight hundred people have died coming up. We'll take a look at how the virus has changed the work of law enforcement across America. Comcast business connected and network solutions. Help drive is not devices. Ai and virtual network applications at peak performance to improve efficiency and customer experience for Your Business Rely on comcast business for nationwide secure reliable performance powered by a gig speed network comcast business beyond fast. The Corona virus pandemic is changing nearly all aspects of American Society City by City Street by street. Some of the people feeling the changes the most or the nation's law enforcement officers as Americans isolate themselves at home and cities go quiet. Police officers are still on the job. They're having to take precautions to keep themselves safe and on the other side officials are concerned that prisons could become petri dishes for the virus and have been taking precautions as well joining me now to talk more about how the pandemic has changed law and order across the country or Wall Street Journal reporter's Zoysia Ellinson and Ben Chapman more than a dozen states including New York and California have released prisoners to stem the spread of the corona virus. Ben You're in New York and zoo show. You're in California. Can you tell us how this plan is working in your respective States Xuzhou? Let's start with you all right. So as this corona virus outbreak started jail officials knew they were going to have a huge problem on their hands because a lot of these jails are very crowded prisoners. You know jammed into cells jammed in common areas. Dining rooms everything. It's very hard to social distance jail. So one of the things. They started thinking about early on is. Can we release some of these lower level offenders or older people or sickly inmates so that we can free up some space for quarantines and just keep some space between the inmates and so what they started doing is lowering bail for people? Who were you know have yet gone to trial so letting people out on lowered bail and then also quickly reaching plea deals with lower level offenders to let them out early and so we've seen that in more than a dozen states have thousands of people have been let out of jail early and so far in terms of the impact on crime. We haven't seen it yet in the major cities in the. Us crime has actually been down in the first couple weeks of the lockdown and Ben. What about here in New York? We're having the same challenges balancing public safety with health of both prisoners and general population. That's right the authorities in New York are very concerned about the outbreak of the virus at the city's jails including rikers island. And they've taken steps to release a few hundred prisoners from rikers already. And they're also declined to prosecute low level offenses in an attempt to send fewer people into the jail. And that's what they're doing to slow the spread of the virus there. As far as the public safety concerns the decisions to release. Inmates are joint decisions that are made by the mayor of the district attorneys judges and the police among other entities and they're really balancing the risk to the inmates. Do they have underlying conditions? Are they older? Are they likely to be in serious trouble? If they are infected with the virus with the possibility of that person committing additional crimes or committing crimes at all if released. So that's sort of the equation that they're dealing with Suzuka. Let's talk about a point you brought up earlier and that is that we're seeing crime. Go down across the nation during the pandemic yes so we took a look at some of the biggest cities while data on crime in America is not always up to date in that great most of the big cities that we took a look at have seen violent crime and property crime. Go down in the first week since a lot of these city shut down and the reason that police are telling us is basically you have fewer people out on the street at the moment however cops are very concerned. That crime could go up in the coming weeks. Especially when you have sort of volatile combination of mass layoffs you have a bunch of businesses closed. You have people getting kind of desperate. So cops are worried that there's going to be more burglaries of businesses and break ins of businesses and that sort of stuff. They're also worried that there could be more. Domestic violence has more people are stuck at home for a longer period of time but so far. We're so early in this that we haven't seen those happened yet. So let's turn to policing now and how that's changed during the corona virus pandemic in terms of the focused Ben. What can you say about that in New York City? The police are being tasked with fighting the virus. In addition to their usual job of fighting crime in the first week of the city's response to the virus. The police here in New York conducted sixty six thousand different visits to public spaces and businesses to make sure that measures to contain the virus. Were being observed including a ban on dining in restaurants and prohibitions against gatherings parks. So this is a new role for the police here that they're undertaking in addition to the usual crimefighting stuff. They do Sushi. What about in California? How have you seen the focus of policing shift during the pandemic well across the country? One thing we're seeing is that police are trying to keep their distance. Trying to social distance was kind of a hard thing. If you're a COP right you're in the car with the criminals. You're in the car with your police partner. When you arrest someone you gotta put your hands on them. So what can they do? What they can do is direct their officers not to make arrests in low level for low level crimes. And that's what they're doing. They're saying you know if you catch someone doing something like you know graffiti or whatever it might be they say just cite them and release them and have has little contact as you can. I mean cops are going to be catching this virus spreading it because they're constantly interacting with the public so the idea there is trying to cut down on contacts so we're seeing fewer lower level arrests. Another thing that we've seen is large numbers of police officers being infected with the virus. There were about three thousand officers. Who were out sick as of Thursday and that's about three times the normal amount for then why PD so there's many officers who have been infected already in New York City and that brings up a key point here. How are police departments working to protect police and other law enforcement officials? Who are part of the essential workforce during this time? You mentioned a lot or calling out sick in New York. How is that playing out across the country? I mean they're so the police are struggling much like the medical profession with getting the supplies. They need. There's a lot of places where they don't have enough facemasks. It appears that a lot of them have the gloves and the hand sanitizer but the face. Max seemed to be in short supply. So that's a problem but in some places we've heard at roll call cops lineup together. There some of them are social distancing during roll. Call trying to sanitize the cars as much as they can and like. I said they're trying to keep further away from some of the criminals as well but it's kind of a hard situation. It's just a job you can't do from home and you can't do from six feet away. All Right Wall Street Journal reporter's Zoo Ellinson and Ben Chapman. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you very much. And finally we've been asking for your questions about the corona virus and we're bringing in our reporters and experts to answer them here on the podcast. Our question today comes from Luke Auto from Chicago Illinois. He's curious about how other countries economies affect our own during the pandemic we understand the positive seemingly positive off that the domestic measures for both monetary and fiscal policy will and they have on the US economy bulb as we all are aware the US economy is not a simply domestic economy. It's a global economy. So how may other countries and other continents economies impact trade essentially and other economic factors that may impact the US economy in the coming weeks and months for an answer? We turn to our international economics correspondent Josh Zoom Brune. You think about a typical natural disaster a hurricane that hits Florida or a you know sue Nami that hit Southeast Asia. Usually these things only affect one region of the country or region of the world in everyone ellison's still going and able to help pull that region along and right now that's not happening. There's not the strong Bridgen that's able to help everyone else out. And so every country is having to really scramble to get the corona virus under control and then get its own economy restarted. And one of the reasons. It's going to be much more difficult than a typical situation is because there's not that strong man to help pull things along. I mean that's important for the US to you. Know you think about the financial crisis of two thousand eight one of the things that kind helped pull the world out of that was actually the strength of China's economy at the time but we don't have the you know there's no strong Chinese economy right now. There's no strong American economy right now. No one is in a strong position. And it's what makes this such a hard situation. Do you have a question about the Corona Virus Lisa voicemail at three one five nine two eight two nine eight. We also have that number in the show description. We'll try to answer as many of your questions as we can. And that's what's news for this Friday afternoon. We'll be back on Monday in the morning and the afternoon if you like our show please rate and review US wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Anne Marie for totally for the Wall Street Journal. Thanks for listening.