VENICE - A COVID-19 outbreak has halted the Venice Police Department for a few days ahead.

The City of Venice is down to three active police officers and their police chief, but after a COVID-19 outbreak, but now all are quarantined for at least another week. The Illinois State Police and Madison County Sheriff's Office are working to keep watch over the town and the McKinley Bridge with the Venice Police Department's two dispatchers still on the job.

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Venice Mayor Tyrone Echols said today the nine-member police force has dropped to only three officers and their chief before the COVID-19 outbreak because of officers leaving for other jobs.

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Law enforcement offices nationwide have stressed there is a shortage of police officers across the country. The Venice officers who remain will be on quarantine for at least another week, the mayor said because two of them tested positive for COVID-19.

Echols said neither of the officers is seriously ill as of yet. Venice has mandated mask-wearing for anyone that enters Venice City Hall. Venice has a population of around 1,900 residents. The mayor stated he may enact an order requiring each City of Venice employee to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Venice is looking for police officers. Contact Venice City Hall at (618) 877-2412 if interested.

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