Ansonia Police Modify Procedures Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
New Haven Register, March 19, 2020
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
As first responders responsible for the safety of the community, Ansonia Police Chief Andrew Cota said the Police Department is making some temporary adjustments to its daily protocols in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Effective immediately, the Ansonia Police Department will be implementing protective measures for police services within the City of Ansonia to prevent the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Cota said in a statement.
Those protective measures include:
Temporarily requiring police officers to limit their response to any calls that are not in progress or are nonviolent offenses. When possible, calls will be handled over the phone by officers.
For all non-emergency calls, the caller will be contacted to determine whether an officer is required to respond to the scene. If the officer is not required on scene but a report is needed, the report will be generated over the phone.
For all calls of an emergency nature, current procedures will be followed.
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Should an individual need to speak to a dispatcher or officer, they should expect to be asked a series of questions which will assist in screening potential exposure incidents. The caller also may be asked to meet the officer outside if the caller is able to do so.
In addition, Cota said the lobby area of the Elm Street department is being restricted to avoid citizens from coming into contact with surfaces that may transmit the virus. Those who feel they must come to the Police Department need to call ahead. People are asked not to enter the building, and if needed, an officer will meet them outside the building.
Cota said all civilian personnel are still working at the Police Department, and the Records Department is available to electronically send reports at this time.
The non-emergency number to call the Police Department for assistance is 203-735-1885. To reach the Records Department, call 203-736-2454 or 203-735-1885.
“We anticipate that these changes are temporary and we thank you for your anticipated patience and cooperation,” Cota added.
Mayor David Cassetti said while police, fire and medical services have made some modifications to how they run their day-to-day operations during this public health crisis, residents can rest assured they are well protected.
“The police, fire, and medical services have changed some of their running rules to help eliminate non-essential interactions with others,” Cassetti said. “This does not mean that police, fire, public works and ambulance services will not assist you with your request. It just may happen in a way that our citizens are not accustomed to. All crimes in progress and ones involving crimes of violence will be responded to in the normal fashion. Other calls, minor in nature, will be accepted, however, they may be dealt with through phone contact from an Ansonia Police Officer. Medical services will be provided as usual but you may be asked a series of screening questions by dispatchers. Medical personnel may arrive in full protective gear. Please do not be alarmed. This is for your protection as well as theirs.”