The efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19 are significantly altering American’s lives. This includes police departments.
Local police chiefs have implemented measures to limit the public’s contact with officers to slow the spread.
Fenton Police Department
Lt. Jeff Cross said they posted signs on the entrance to the police station asking those who exhibit any flu-like symptoms to remain outside and call 911 or (810)629-5311 to have an officer come to them.
“We have temporarily suspended fingerprints and PBTs until further notice. Any Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests can be filed online at cityoffenton.org. We will respond to those requests via email and or telephone,” he said.
Fenton police officers are still responding to calls as they usually would. Cross said they have been asked to take precautions suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We have always strived to be community-oriented and will continue to serve the community in any way possible. Things are changing quickly every day, and we may need to change as time moves on. One thing is for sure; we will always be here for our community,” he said.
Holly Police Department
Jerry Narsh, Holly police chief, said they’ve implemented new universal precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“The whole world has changed. That includes public safety,” he said. “It can shut down your public safety response. We have to redesign how we deliver our services in order to protect first responders so they’re able to continue delivering services. It’s critical for us to keep our first responders healthy.”
New precautions include locking the front lobby, not doing preliminary breath tests or fingerprinting, and allowing gun permits to be mailed. The public is asked to wait to drop off drugs at the prescriptions drug drop box. Police are allowing more reports to be filed over the phone. Before booking someone in jail, they ask if they have symptoms.
Officers also are not going on calls that involve a sick person unless a crime might have taken place.
“These are also designed to protect the public. Anything we can do to mitigate person-to-person contact. Hopefully we’ll help stop the spread of this disease,” Narsh said.
Holly police officers have been assisting Holly schools in handing out food to families. The fire department has been delivering food to shelters.
“Ninety percent of our mission is to protect life and property. We’re going to do everything we can to help our community get through this. We’re here for the long haul. We’re to get through it. We’re going to help everyone who needs our help,” Narsh said. “There is no need to panic. It’s not martial law. Its shelter in place to help limit person to person contact. That’s how we defeat our common enemy — the virus.”