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Being a police officer is not easy. Police officers often risk their lives in order to keep law abiding citizens safe from undesirable elements in society. In addition to putting their lives on the line in the name of public service, police officers are now being forced to deal with a non-human threat–bed bugs. Although most people who have not been living under a rock for the past two decades are aware of how widespread bed bug populations have become in the world, many people may not realize that bed bugs are now considered a threat to both police officers and firefighters. It is hard to imagine tiny microscopic insects as being a force for cops and firefighters to reckon with, but bed bug infestations have increased dramatically in police stations, fire departments and even in the homes of cops and firefighters. It turns out that cops and firefighters are at high risk for acquiring bed bugs on the job before inadvertently transporting them to their own homes where the insects then attack their families. In fact, a police department located in Youngstown, Ohio has become infested with the blood-sucking insects. This infestation has only emphasized the emerging bed bug-related issues that have been facing police officers and other public servants for several years.

On the 28th of October, the detective bureau on the fourth floor of the Youngstown Police Department had to be evacuated in response to a bed bug that had been discovered. The affected section of the building was immediately fumigated and even the officers that encountered the bed bug had their cruisers undergo bed bug treatments. A staff member working in the building also spotted a bed bug in the same area.

So how did the bed bug/s wind up in the police department? As it turns out, the bed bugs hitched a ride on a dead body. Based on the available evidence, it seems clear that a recently deceased individual that was transported to the station from a bed bug-infested home had transported bed bugs into the building. This particular bed bug incident was not anticipated despite an increase in bed bug-related problems facing police officers and firefighters. Most bed bug-related incidents that affect police officers occur when an officer arrests an individual with bed bugs on his/her clothing. Firefighters are acquiring bed bugs from infested homes that they are called to in order to extinguish fires.

Did you know that America’s police officers and firefighters are at a high risk for acquiring bed bugs while on the job? Do you think that funding should be set aside for bed bug control methods that can be easily accessed and used by police officers and firefighters while on the job?