Flu season hits small Lytle PD hard

Chief: 'We've never had this many people out sick'

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

LYTLE, Texas - It's a police crackdown, but it's on the flu, not crime.

Lytle police Chief Richey Priest said the department has seen a stream of officers out sick due to having the flu or someone in their family having it. With only eight full-time officers, that has been a problem as others have to step up in their place.

"I've been chief 18-and-a-half years here," Priest said. "I've never seen this."

Priest said the department has also found it hard to get ahold of victims and witnesses who are struggling with illness, too. Fortunately, the same seems to go for the criminals, as Priest said it seemed things have been a little slow lately.

"They don't call in sick, but you just kind of tell because they don't show up," the chief said.

READ MORE: Local doctor answers questions on how to successfully fight the flu

The department has hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes and tissues at the ready as officers try to remain healthy for duty. At least one officer said he makes it a habit to use hand sanitizer when he's out on patrol.

Even with flu floating around town, the officers don't really have the option to stay away.

"I mean I'd have to wear like a full body suit or something every time I go out in public, and that wouldn't probably be too cool," Priest said.

For the moment, no one is out sick, and the department hopes it stays that way.

RELATED: Doctors give tips on preventing, identifying, treating flu

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