Police departments change practices to prevent potential coronavirus exposure

Posted: Updated:

Police departments around New Jersey have now had change how they conduct business so that they can keep officers and the public safe from potential coronavirus exposure.

Gloucester Township police have implemented a new way to file reports and are urging the town’s residents to take advantage of it.

“I’ve been a police officer for 25 years. There are things that we’re doing that I would never have considered doing,” says Police Chief David Harkins.

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But Harkins says that as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state increase, police departments like his are adapting. He says that it starts by doing what many in New Jersey are doing – extra sanitizing and social distancing.

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“We’re only going into houses, residences and buildings that we have to,” Harkins says. “Obviously in police work, we have to if there’s a domestic violence situation or some kind of crime or burglary or even a serious medical condition situation. We’re going in.”

Gloucester Township police officers are responding to emergency calls as usual but the chief asked that if a resident does have a situation where they just need to file a report, they can do so online or at their kiosk in the building to limit exposure.

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Patrolman Erica Marconi describes options online and at the kiosk.

"It gives you an array of different things that you can report, so identify theft, different types of harassment, criminal mischief, lost property. Reports for insurance purposes – crashes, anything like that,” she says.

"It limits our interaction, personal interaction and it still gets investigated 100%. You'll still be contacted by an officer who's going to completely investigate it. If we have to make contact we will,” Harkins says.

 

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