Police departments enact new safety measures due to COVID-19
MILAN, Tenn. — Police say new measures being taken are increasing their social distancing to protect officers and the public.
“If they do have to make a traffic stop or interact with the public, to somewhat keep a distance,” Milan Police Chief Bobby Sellers said.
The Milan Police Department is just one West Tennessee agency taking steps to limit officers’ exposure to coronavirus.
One precaution police are taking is to practice sanitary habits.
“The individual officers are supposed to be practicing sanitary habits like washing their hands, using wipes on equipment inside their patrol cars,” Chief Sellers said.
Sellers says they are encouraging their officers to stay home if they do feel sick.
Another precaution the department is taking is locking the door to the police department.
“We’ve got signs up with a number. If somebody walks up needs to do business with the court clerk or police or fire here at our building, they call a phone number, our dispatcher answers and then they assess whether if they need to come in. A lot of the people that come in our building are stuff that can be handled over the phone,” Chief Sellers said.
They are also prioritizing the calls they receive, and trying to determine if an officer needs to go out to a scene, or if they can simply take a report by phone.
“If it’s a violent crime when the person calls we will respond to that. If somebody has been injured or hurt, high-priority crime. It just limits exposure to our employees as well as the public,” Chief Sellers.
Multiple other police departments and fire departments have enacted similar policies.
Officials in many areas are also asking that if you call 911, please let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms.