Local police departments using purchased, handmade masks

Jasper Police Department not receiving KN95 masks from the state.

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. – Last month, after sending KN95 masks to first responders across Missouri, the state recalled them because they “did not meet standards.”

Jasper Police Chief Chad Karr says the department has not received any KN95 masks from the state since the recall, so they are using hand made masks that were donated by people in the community.

In Carthage, Chief Greg Dagnan says they have received some masks from the state, but not as many as they need.

So, they have been purchasing them on their own.

“We are just not getting very much of that. That’s okay, cause we’re fine. And then also if it’s a statewide resource it’s almost always gonna get diverted to where the, most of the problems are happening,” says Dagnan. “What we’ve kind of been doing is looking at our calls for service and looking at our number of officers and kind of really trying to have enough to last two or three weeks. And when we get down to that point where it’s like, ‘Okay, this is gonna last us two or three weeks.’ Then we go try to find more and order more. So right now we’ve probably got enough that we could go a month. But it’s a daily thing.”

And Dagnan says doing that is costing a lot more than before the pandemic started.

“Before this happened, if you went into any store or went online, you’re talking 40 to 60 cents a mask. I know we have paid up to four dollars and 50 cents a mask. But again it’s like, we know we’ve gotta have em.”