Reporting Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Bed bugs — CBS News reports that a recent survey found the creepy crawlers all over the map from coast to coast.
Here in Philadelphia, the latest invasion was reported where Philly’s finest report to work at Harbison and Levick Streets. The building houses the Philadelphia Police Department’s 2nd and 15th Districts, along with the Northeast Detective Division.
“You’re talking about in excess of 500 officers and detectives combined that could be exposed to that,” Roosevelt Poplar said.
Poplar is the Vice President of the Fraternal Order of Police. Poplar went on to explain that he’s concerned knowing the number of people in danger of being exposed is even greater.
“If a prisoner is transported to the PDU, which is the Police Detention Unit that’s down on 8th and Race Streets, if the prisoner is infested, there’s a chance of that prisoner transporting bed bugs downtown. So now you’re talking about a 1,000 people in that building. So this is a major concern, you can’t take it lightly,” Poplar said.
Poplar says he was first notified of the infestation on Saturday; that’s when he visited the building and took pictures of roaches and pests that were dead and some still crawling.
Poplar learned then the department had brought in an exterminator on Thursday and then again on Saturday. What worries Poplar is the fact that only a part of the building — deemed infested — was treated.
“So the one side was treated, apparently the other side was left untreated. In essence, it wasn’t treated properly,” Poplar said.
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So union leaders drafted a notice and posted it inside the building of each police district, informing every officer of the problem and asking any affected officer to document the incident.
Poplar explained, “They have enough worries going out on the streets dealing with crime on a daily basis, let alone having to come to the district where they work and worry about bed bugs.”
Captain Frank Bachmayer with the 15th District responded, “I’m very sensitive to that concern. I don’t want to bring them home. I’m sure a lot of my officers feel the same way. So we’re going to do everything we can to ensure that the bed bugs are treated.”
Capt. Bachmayer says the exterminator is scheduled for a return visit later in the week to make sure the problem’s been fixed permanently.
Meanwhile, any officer with concerns is asked to contact the FOP at (215) 629-3600.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3