Detroit Heroes: Marcus Poe
Highlighting the Essential Workers of Detroit
“Someone tested positive on our midnight shift, and we had to shut down for almost a week."
For Marcus Poe, Senior Supervisor of Mechanical Maintenance at the Russell Ferry garage, a week can feel like an eternity.
Poe and his team service all City of Detroit vehicles. Falling behind is not an option. And getting vehicles fixed quickly is always the goal. But today, that’s a challenge.
When the pandemic hit, the entire operation had to be modified. The days when a driver could just waltz into the garage and drop off the keys are long gone.
“There’s one door in and one door out,” said Poe. “Everyone goes through a screening process; a temperature check and asked COVID-19 related questions. Once the vehicle is assigned, the mechanic uses a sterilization kit and sanitizes every point of contact–door handles, steering wheel.”
In addition to sanitizing the vehicles, a cleaning crew comes in daily to wipe down all contact points in the garage. And all clients and staff are required to wear a mask.
Unfortunately, these new procedures add an extra 10 minutes to every job, but Poe understands the precautions are necessary to keep everyone safe. And his employees have been receptive to the new process.
The team also is tasked with servicing Detroit Police vehicles; something Poe takes very seriously.
“We understand that when those vehicles go down, it’s up to us to work as fast as possible to get them back up so police can be out to protect the city. Police vehicles are top priority at the garage,” said Poe.
Poe adds that public safety is key, and it’s important that police have what they need.
As for morale, Poe is very proud of his team of more than 50 employees. And he’s appreciative of upper management for providing proper supplies and personal protection equipment throughout the pandemic.
Poe recognizes his staff could have opted to stay home, but they too understand how important the vehicles are to keep the City functioning.
After 23 years on the job, and despite COVID-19, Poe still loves coming to the garage, ensuring City vehicles are maintained.
“I live in the city and I want my fellow employees and citizens to be safe.”
For COVID-19 resources, call the Detroit Health Department Hotline at (313) 876-4000 or visit the City's COVID-19 response page here.