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Huntsville Police Officer shares her story of starting her career during the pandemic

Updated: Aug. 10, 2020 at 11:09 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Starting a new job during the pandemic can be challenging for anyone, and for police officers they're no exception.

Officer Francisca Ortiz said she swore an oath to protect and serve no matter the circumstances, and she followed through.

This year, she graduated from the academy, and stepped into the role of protecting the public as a Huntsville Police Officer at the height of the pandemic.

“This job is definitely changing every day,” she said. “It’s always something new every day.”

Officer Ortiz said at first she felt people didn’t take the pandemic seriously.

“At first people were getting really sick, and then it kind of dialed down so people stopped talking about it,” she said. “Then it revved back up.”

Officer Ortiz said because of the virus she now takes even more precautions working on the front lines.

“I have to carry all this equipment with me, plus a mask now,” she said. “It’s how people are with their keys, their phone, you are like okay I’ve got to carry my mask as well. You are kind of more aware of the social distance making sure you wash your hands, keep clean, protecting yourself as well as others.”

Another thing Officer Ortiz said she now also remembers when going to calls is social distancing, but she said this isn’t always an option.

“Some you just can’t help and sometimes you need to be up close with people and go hands on,” she said. “You can’t think about that at times.”

Armed with her mask, Officer Ortiz said it acts as a reminder to not only continue to help others, but also to remember herself as well.

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