(Washington, DC)  HAPCOA was invited to participate in a conference call with Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf, US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with other executives of national law enforcement associations.

This executive briefing was held on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 11am (EST).  On the call and representing HAPCOA were National President Chief Teresa Ramon and Executive Director Anthony Chapa.  

The presentation by Secretary Wolf included a rundown on the efforts of all DHS components responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.  He reported that DHS was focused first in RESPONSE (to the COVID-19 crisis), then they would move to a RECOVERY mode (and back to the normal mission of DHS), and then to RESTORATION (supporting the DHS mission of trade and commerce).  He also reported that the MITIGRATION protocols endorsed by the Presidents CoronaVirus Task are working and he encouraged our support of these protocols with our members and the community that we serve.  He reported on the direction provided by FEMA as they worked to support the national effort with funding, the National Guard, the Army Corp of Engineers, FEMA employees and working to support the much needed supply chain (which provided medical equipment and PPE).

The Secretary also reported on the efforts of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as they supported changes in international travel and also the changes in support of trade and travel into Mexico and Canada.  He also mentioned the work of the Coast Guard with respect to the cruise line industry.  Also the efforts of the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) were discussed with respect to its support of our nations cybersecurity, infrastructure security and our financial sector.  Revised CDC guidelines were discussed that law enforcement/first responding agencies should review regarding when front line responders might be able to return to work if they were exposed to COVID-19 (before the full 14 day quarantine).

A short Q&A followed with questions provided by FOP, National Sheriffs Organization, Major City Sheriffs, IACP and others.  Questions included replacement of local tax dollars that support (and hire) local law enforcement officers, the need for PPE for first line law enforcement responders, concerns regarding jail staffing, classification of law enforcement as first responders by Governors, among other questions.  Others were encouraged to submit questions to the Secretary.  

HAPCOA submitted several questions to include how DHS was planning to communicate with the greater Hispanic communities nationwide (as all of their documents, handouts, flyers and PSA’s are only in English).  They quickly responded by recognizing that they were unaware of any documents prepared in Spanish.  They would be looking to HAPCOA to help with the distribution of these documents once they are created based on our recommendation.  Other questions were regarding hazard duty pay protocols and the need to consider the creation of a medical/survivor fund in support of law enforcement/first responders affected by the CoronaVirus.

It was also later reported to HAPCOA, in follow-up to our questions, that the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that for the purposes of benefits under the PSOB program, officers who die or are disabled due to the COVID-19 will be presumed to have contracted it in the line of duty if it was during the timeframe that the COVID-19 was active and if the officer saw line of duty action during that time period.  DOJ will presume that the Coronavirus will have caused the death.  

Due to the association that HAPCOA has with The Latino Coalition we were able to get help from Andrea R. Ramirez, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the President and Director of Hispanic Engagement, White House Office of Public Liaison, who provided us with the following list of Spanish language websites with information and advise regarding COVID-19:

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America
30 Days to Slow the Spread (PDF)
30 Días Para Desacelerar la Propagación (PDF)
For more updates, visit www.coronavirus.gov (Español)
 
Assistance for American Workers and Families
Economic Impact Payments: What You Need to Know (Español)
 
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Assistance for Small Businesses: SBA.gov/coronavirus (Español)
Paycheck Protection Program: SBA.gov/PayCheckProtection
Find an eligible lender (HERE)
 
Department of Treasury
COVID-19 Actions and Updates: Treasury.gov/cares
 
Department of Labor (DOL)
Paid Leave (HERE)
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights (Español)
Unemployment Insurance (HERE)
New OSHA Poster Aimed at Reducing Workplace Exposure to the Coronavirus (Español)
Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for Self-Employed Workers, Independent Contractors and Gig Workers (HERE)
 
Twitter
@WhiteHouse
@LaCasaBlanca (VIDEO)
@FEMAespanol
@CDCespanol
 
Additional Spanish resources
Pagina web de enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Cómo protegerse
Qué hacer si está enfermo  
Síntomas
Personas que necesitan tomar precauciones adicionales
Si está enfermo                                                                                                     
Tome Medidas para Prevenir la Exposición de los Trabajadores al Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Control de rumores del coronavirus
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Orientación y recursos de préstamos para pequeñas empresas

Please share this information with your department and the Spanish speaking community that you serve and protect.  HAPCOA will remain connected and will share valuable information with its membership.  We expect to be invited to a follow-up meeting in the near future.

HAPOCA thanks Ms. Linda Mansour, Director of Engagement, Office of State and Local Law Enforcement, US Department of Homeland Security for ensuring our participation in this call and for getting us an immediate response to our questions and observations.



DHS Command Center



Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Department of Homeland Security