CHICAGO — WGN Investigates has learned Chicago police officers have concerns the city has given them old, ineffective hand sanitizer that potentially puts them at risk.
The city distributed thousands of bottles of “Safe-Tec” hand sanitizer to officers at roll calls Wednesday morning.
Some officers who thought the bottles looked old, contacted the company.
In an email obtained by WGN Investigates, a “Safe-Tec” sales manager said the hand sanitizer hasn’t been manufactured since 2012.
Lab testing found it may only be effective for three years from the date of manufacture.
Patrick Murray is with the Fraternal Order of Police.
“I got an email stating this hand sanitizer is five years old, it’s no good,” he said. “These coppers are putting their hands on people making arrests and using hand sanitizer that doesn’t work. I think it’s a terrible response by the City of Chicago. They’re not looking out for the best interests of officers who are responding to these calls.”
A city spokesperson insists the sanitizer is effective as long as the bottle wasn’t opened in the years since it was produced.
A Chicago police spokesperson blamed a nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer and issued a statement to WGN that said:
The health of our officers is of the utmost importance, and we are doing everything we can to get additional supplies. That said, there is a nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer — this includes the Chicago Police Department. The hand sanitizer distributed to officers was the only supply that was made available to CPD.
This issue has affected many departments across the country including Chicago and New York. We have placed orders for additional supplies. This is not an ideal situation, but we are doing what we can given the nationwide shortage of infection control supplies.