Local Police Request Quarantine Guidelines
Dec. 14, 2005
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has voiced concern that
its members lack guidelines for enforcing quarantines, USA Today reported
today (see GSN, Nov. 23).
While federal agencies and the military would lead quarantine efforts
following a bioterrorist event or naturally occurring disease outbreak,
according to USA Today, the association has complained that local law
enforcement officials lack basic information about their role in such a
“We’re the ones who are going to be the first to respond. ... I would have
thought we would be further along than we are now,” said association
President and Gaithersburg, Md., Police Chief Mary Ann Viverette. “We need
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a model state law
on quarantines following the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001. The model
has been used as the basis for 80 pieces of legislation in 32 states; 30 of
those bills have become law, according to the Center for Law and the
Public’s Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities.
These laws, however, have created a “patchwork-quilt of legislation” with
few specific guidelines for local police, according to the chiefs’ group.
Ram Koppaka, associate director for policy and preparedness in the CDC
Global Migration and Quarantine Division, said the agency would review the
association’s concerns (Kevin Johnson, USA Today, Dec. 14)