Centralia, Salem Police Departments Taking Precautionary Measures Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Centralia, Salem Police Departments Taking Precautionary Measures Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

MARION COUNTY — In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Centralia and Salem police departments have enacted some changes to how their officers provide services.

Officers will now only respond to calls that require an officer’s presence on scene. All other calls will be completed by phone.

When an officer is required to respond to the scene of an incident they will not enter homes unless it is absolutely necessary.

The officer will instead require you to step outside to speak with them regarding whatever issue they have responded to.

Like everyone else in the country is being asked to do, officers will be practicing social distancing and will attempt to maintain a 6-foot gap between anyone they are dealing with that is not being taken into custody.

Officers will also be wearing gloves on all calls and will not be shaking hands and other social pleasantries that result in person to person contact, and they may be wearing other personal protective equipment as well.

Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson asks the public to not take those precautions personally, and the lobby will be the only public access point for the department.

Citizens are strongly encouraged to call into the police department for any issue they have and avoid going into the building unless absolutely necessary.

Dodson admits that while some of the changes may make the officer seem impersonal or detached, it is all being done in an attempt to ensure police services are there in an emergency.

He notes that through those steps he can reduce an officer’s cumulative citizen contacts from 20 to 10 a day, which reduces their exposure by 50%.

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