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Short on PPEs, underpaid JMPD officers asked to buy own masks, gloves

Eyewitness News has seen an internal letter in which JMPD officers have been urged to dig deep into their pockets to buy cloth masks for themselves.

Picture: @JoburgMPD/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Joburg metro police officers have told Eyewitness News about the dangerous and difficult circumstances they’re having to work under, with not enough protective gear to around and significant reductions in their salaries.

Eyewitness News has seen an internal letter in which JMPD officers have been urged to dig deep into their pockets to buy cloth masks for themselves.

Management said that it was aware of these claims and was investigating them.

At least two JMPD officers have told EWN that they would be queuing in Hillbrow on Friday for food parcels handed out by the state because they have no money to buy food.

They've spoken to EWN on the condition that their identities be withheld, fearing victimisation.

One officer said that some were receiving just R3,000 of their monthly salaries.

"The response that we got was that they only have one person at HR, that was last month when we asked. When we asked again, they said that they don't know when we are not getting paid."

This email has been cropped to protect the identity of the source.

He said that they also did not have any personal protective gear like gloves or masks but they were still expected to go into communities during the pandemic.

"When we asked why we were not getting equipment like the SANDF members had, they said that we must buy masks."

Officers have also complained about not being given hand gloves or face masks to protect them from contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Officers also said that they would not be leaving their stations until they'd been supplied with personal protective equipment to protect them from COVID-19.

"They only brought one 25 litre container of hand sanitiser, that was it."

The JMPD officer added that they could not be expected to risk their lives and those of their families without being given basic protective gear.

"We are not leaving the premise until we get a solution from the senior management."

Officers said that they would only be back on the streets when they had the right equipment.