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Philly Police Face New Bloodsucking Suspects

Philly Police Face New Bloodsucking Suspects

Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

July 13, 2011

PHILADELPHIA- Police officers across the city are being warned of a frustratingly stubborn enemy that has infiltrated their workplace: bedbugs.

An infestation was discovered last week in the building in Mayfair that houses the Second and 15th Police Districts and the Northeast Detective Division.

The bedbugs came to light after inmates in several holding cells were bitten, said Roosevelt Poplar, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 5.

An exterminator treated the infested areas twice, and the department’s administration is closely monitoring the situation, said Lt. Raymond Evers of the Public Affairs Unit.

Joan Schlotterbeck, the city’s public property commissioner, said that one inmate had brought the bugs to the building and that an exterminator believed the infestation was confined to three cells.

Those cells have wooden benches that are different from those in other units, she said. They will be removed.

The cell block has been evacuated. Cells will be power-washed, crevices will be sealed, and the walls will be repainted, Schlotterbeck said.

“At this point, we believe we’re doing everything we can,” Schlotterbeck said.

Poplar said the entire building at Harbison Avenue and Levick Street should have been treated for bedbugs. About 500 officers work out of the building, he said, and the bugs may have hitched rides with inmates who were transferred.

“These bugs, they can be carried on people,” he said. “They can be carried in a car, to another district. The holding cells have people coming in and out all day long. We’re talking about potentially thousands of people who could be affected by this.”

Officers will be asked to report any signs of infestation. Employees who wish to take extra precautions can wash and dry their clothes as soon as they get home from work, Schlotterbeck said.

Poplar said several officers had told him that they might have unknowingly carried bugs home in their clothing. “These guys are under enough stress as it is without worrying about taking bugs home to their families,” he said.

The bedbug resurgence began about 10 years ago in hotels and apartment buildings in large cities nationwide. The bloodsucking insects are known for resilience. Clothes and other belongings must be heated to extreme temperatures to kill them, and the bugs can hide in wooden furniture or baseboards for a year without food.

Though New York City has been seen as the center of the scourge, the problem is on the rise here. Terminix, the national exterminating company, this year ranked Philadelphia fifth among U.S. cities for bedbugs, with New York still in first.

  • Meangreen01_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Better than a chupacabra infestation!

  • 74596_129289523905506_927477597_n_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Excuse me for acting like a total girly girl for a moment but EWWWWWW!!! *shudders*

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    about 3 years ago


    EEEEEEWWWWWW! Bed Bugs! OK Bad Guys Please don't leave any Bed bugs in my detainment room, now I have another thing to watch out for, Hope it stays cool enough in AK that they don't survive. :)
    Well, I keep my detainment room cool enough maybe they will freeze, PD always asks if I'm hanging meat in there. Hehehe, PD loves it cause they come in and cool off.

  • Justice-400_max50


    about 3 years ago



  • 1393794_10151798561878138_392793313_n_max50


    about 3 years ago


    What to do?????what to do OMG BEDBUGS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 1979_max50


    about 3 years ago


    One of the many other hazards of our job. The people we often deal with a really nasty individuals and have all kinds of diseases and infestations. Even way back then in the early 70's I always grabbed some latex gloves from the ER and kept them in my case to put on whenever I ran into a nasty type person. Didn't have a chance to do this as often as I wanted to but if given the chance I would put on gloves. Also used to get complaints from the suspects saying I insulted them by doing so. My response was so what? Many a time I stripped down in the utility room of my home and dropped all my clothes into the washer before entering the house.

  • Policememorial---a_max50


    about 3 years ago


    So the critters arrested and taken to the station house had critters? :P

  • 03-29-09_1112_max50


    about 3 years ago


    The Bed Bugs are taking a "Bite out of Crime ! " LOL

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Thanks TC.

  • 1410_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Thanks for the advice, TC. Here, a whole precinct had to be shut down for two days because an arrested person had bedbugs in his bag.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


  • Caduceus_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Good advice, TC

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