CINCINNATI, OH– On March 24th, Cincinnati Police officers are going to be amending the manner in which they respond to certain calls, all due to the developing issues revolving around COVID-19.
This is hardly surprising, since Law Enforcement Today has extensively reported on several police departments changing how they respond to certain crimes reported during the period of the pandemic.
Much like other departments before them, the CPD intends to prioritize certain calls over others.
.@cincypd will still respond if you need us; however, for many offenses you can help limit our exposure to each other by calling one of our five police districts who can take reports over the phone. #InThisTogether https://t.co/3n4RMfdbJB
— Assistant Chief Paul Neudigate (@PaulNeudigate) March 21, 2020
In tandem with said prioritization, manners of how officers respond will be altered. Essentially, determining whether an officer will be dispatched on site or not.
The department was steadfast in letting the public know that just because there’s going to be an alteration from a physical and administrative aspect, this will not deter how the department investigates complaints of criminal activity.
In some instances, individuals who call into the city’s 911 line will be redirected to submitting a report either online or in person at the station.
CPD Chief Eliot Isaac recently spoke about the new guidelines they’re adopting, hoping to put the public at ease:
“Our recently implemented Differential Response Plan is intended to limit the exposure of our officers and the public to [COVID-19] and our desire is to continue to provide the highest level of police service, while maximizing our efficiency and effectiveness.”
— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) March 24, 2020
The CPD did offer insight into the types of calls where units will be no longer immediately dispatched. The examples provided were:
- Reported assaults where medical attention isn’t required and the suspect is no longer in the area
- Reports of breaking and entering when there’s no immediate suspect in sight or no chance of property being immediately recovered
- Reports of “menacing” of a non-domestic violence connotation *unless it is believed that the menacing suspect will return
- Reported thefts totaling under $5,000 if there’s no possibility of arresting the suspect or property cannot be recovered immediately *unless the property stolen was a firearm
- Any instance of criminal or property damage
- Dog bites
- Over the phone harassment
- Lost/missing property (to include a stolen license plate)
The aforementioned reported offenses should be reported at www.cincinnati-oh.gov/police/online-reporting, or they can also be reported by calling into the non-emergency line at 513-352-2960.
In Chief Isaac’s rollout of the new plan, he further reiterated that instances of immediate danger would get a unit dispatched, regardless of the call:
“To be clear, all of the calls for service listed in Differential Response Plan will be policed adequately and dealt with to remove/resolve the illegal acts. None of those illegal acts are condoned and all will be suppressed/resolved.
In addition, assaults and all physical harm and immediate threats to property will be responded to in person when requested.”
On top of the shift in response priorities, officers are going to also be meeting complainants outside their residences instead of coming indoors under certain circumstances. While that would be on a case by case basis, the department considered it worth noting.
Furthermore, officers will now be riding solo inside patrol units, instead of having an additional officer ride in the passenger seat. A common sense approach to internally adopt “social distancing” while policing.
The CPD noted in their statement that just because there’s an active pandemic, this won’t stop them from providing a valuable public service:
“It is important to stress that the Cincinnati Police Department has a dedicated workforce that is committed to doing everything possible to provide police services during the [COVID-19] crisis.”
While CPD is amending policing to conform with the reality of COVID-19, other departments have poked fun at various “shutdowns” that have cropped up over the virus.
While we at Law Enforcement Today are aware that the risks associated with COVID-19 are serious, it’s refreshing to see law enforcement inject humor into the gravity of the virus.
If you’ve scrolled through various social media sites lately, you may have seen what we’re talking about.
Various official social media accounts for police departments have used the platforms to kindly ask criminals to not commit crimes while cities and departments tackle the viral outbreak.
If you’re unaware of the humor, it obviously an ironic sort of rallying cry.
Several police departments have poked fun at the massive amount of posts online providing guidance on what to do in light of COVID-19.
Due to the confirmed case of #COVIDー19 from community spread, SLCPD is asking all criminal activities/nefarious behavior to cease until further notice. We appreciate your anticipated cooperation in halting crime & thank criminals in advance. #SocialDistancingNow #behaveyourself pic.twitter.com/JeQnQKdXAT
— SLC Police Dept. (@slcpd) March 14, 2020
Unless you’ve lived under a rock in the past few weeks, you’ve likely seen every kind of social media personality, verified company account, or some random person among your friend list doling out advice.
Due to local cases of #COVID-19, PPD is asking all criminal activities and nefarious behavior to cease. We appreciate your cooperation in halting crime & thank the criminals in advance. We will let you know when you can resume your normal behavior. Until then #washyourhands
— Puyallup Police (@PuyallupPD) March 16, 2020
We’ve seen calls related to reiterating that people wash their hands properly, requests to avoid social gatherings of a certain size, to cover your mouth when coughing, and so on.
Because, as we all know, when someone is asked to do such things via shared posts then everyone follows suit (insert sarcasm).
As a result, police departments figured they’d get in on that kind of action. While it’s an obvious joke, it also can’t hurt to give it a shot either.
Some of the captioned posts were simply gems, like the following from the Kenosha Police Department:
“Due to the growing concern over the flu, Coronavirus and other sicknesses, the decision was made to cancel all crime in the Kenosha area. We are unsure when this ban will be lifted.”
The Powell County Sheriff’s Office also got in on the hijinks, with a little bit more quip at the end than most posts:
“Due to the coronavirus, the Sheriff’s department is asking that all criminal activities stop until further notice. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in the matter. We will update you when we deem it’s appropriate to proceed with yo bad selves.”
On top of posts by police solely for entertainment purposes, some departments shared posts that were inadvertently funny.
At least that was the case for the Newport, Oregon Police Department.
The NOPD had to share on Facebook that people cannot dial 9-1-1 simply because they ran out of toilet paper.
They even offered insight into alternatives to toilet tissue when nature calls:
“Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water. Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in salt water. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of salt water available. Sea shells were also used.”
In instances such as these, sometimes we all need a good laugh at the chaos going around. It’s great to see that our police officers are not only providing security for us throughout this time, but can offer us some mental respite with the ongoing pandemic.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.