The founder of a Madison-based technology startup donated 16,000 scarce KN95 masks to law enforcement agencies Thursday, enough for at least one for each police officer in Wisconsin.

Shree Kalluri, the CEO of Zerology said he was able to source the masks, which are in short supply, from global business partners after he realized agencies across the country were experiencing problems procuring protective equipment for public-facing employees.

He had been working on obtaining masks for drivers of Green Cab Madison, which is owned and operated by Zerology, to use to protect themselves as they deliver food and provide transportation around Madison to the public.

“That’s when it occurred to me, probably there are more critical needs for these masks,” Kalluri said. “With the CDC saying law enforcement should wear protective masks, and the chance that some communities could have problems making that happen, I got to work on a solution.”

Kalluri began distributing the masks Thursday with the help of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association and the Wisconsin Police Leadership Foundation. The masks will be given to all municipal, county and state law enforcement.

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