Portland, Ore. – You can help some local first responders fight the spread of the Coronavirus with your smart phone or computer. Portland police are only responding in person to situations where a life is in danger. Low priority reports will be filed on the phone or online. In a new video out today Portland Police Chief Jami Resch announced, they’ll continue to respond to emergencies in person when you call 911, but they want to limit face to face contact as much as possible, to keep officers and the community safe. Here’s how you can help: If you have to file a police report, do it online or on the phone. Other local law enforcement agencies are taking similar actions, like the Sheriff’s Office in Marion and Yamhill counties. Read more below.
More from Portland Police Bureau
In our ongoing efforts to perform our essential functions to protect and serve the public, the Portland Police Bureau is taking several proactive measures to keep its members and the community safe.
Our number one goal and priority is to respond as quickly as possible to life-threatening emergencies. We are currently taking all calls for service, yet we are encouraging other forms of reporting to follow social distancing guidelines. PPB members will continue to respond in-person to calls where there is a life safety issue or if it is a call that cannot be taken online or by phone due to the nature of the call. Criminal investigations will continue.
Given the current situation with the COVID-19 virus and the recommendations from the CDC, we are taking the following steps:
* PPB has recently expanded online reporting guidelines so more community members can file a police report online rather than in-person. This process is easy and crime victims get their reports quicker. It also frees officers up to focus on emergency calls for service.
* When possible, and there is not a life-safety issue, PPB officers will be taking reports over the telephone. This will reduce the possible transmission of the virus to its members or to the public from Bureau members, as carriers may not even know they have the virus and are inadvertently transmitting it.
* Temporarily suspending our presence at community engagement events.
* Planning for various possibilities, such as if our staffing is significantly impacted by sick members. We are coordinating with our local partners in a collaborative manner to improve our abilities to protect and serve the public.
* Increasing the cleaning schedule of our work spaces to protect our members and the public.
We are asking for the public’s help by:
* Encouraging all victims who can file a crime report online to do so. For more information about what can be reported online and how to do so, visit this link: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/cor/
* The public can also use the non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.
* Expect Officers or Public Safety Support Specialists (PS3s) to make contact by phone.
* Stay informed by knowing where to find information. (See important links below).
“Portland Police Bureau members are working collaboratively with our partners to prepare for and mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Chief Jami Resch. “We value our face-to-face interactions with the public, but recognize the need to do our part to protect the public and our members. We will continue to keep the public informed with relevant information and we appreciate the public’s understanding of our need to limit face-to-face contacts for the benefit of all. We are committed to taking appropriate actions that protect the safety and the health of our members and the community.”
A video from Chief Resch can be found here: https://youtu.be/NbMh19omh_8
The Multnomah County has posted a webpage addressing COVID-19 concerns, best practices, and other pertinent information at the following link:
The Oregon Heath Authority has also posted valuable information at the following link:
211info is taking calls from the public with questions re: COVID-19. Individuals can call 211 for information. This is not a medical resource, but a good place to get information.
Read more from Yamhill Co. Sheriff’s Office
The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office will be implementing temporary changes in protocol and the services we offer to the public due to the COVID-19 virus situation. These changes are being implemented to protect our staff, the public, and inmates who interact with YCSO corrections employees.
Effective Monday, March 16th, the main business office of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office will remain staffed but closed to the public. This includes Dog Control licensing. Items emailed to the Sheriff’s Office or mailed through the postal service will be processed normally. In addition, items placed in our secure drop box, located in our exterior lobby, will also continue to be processed.
Concealed Handgun License processing and fingerprinting services will be suspended until further notice.
Patrol Deputies are being instructed to answer calls for service via telephone if possible but will continue to respond in person to emergency situations and those wishing personal contact.
The Yamhill County Correctional Facility will be modifying the procedure for, but not eliminating, inmate visitation. Specialty programs requiring outside entities to enter the jail (e.g., Narcotics Anonymous, Provoking Hope, etc.) will be suspended until further notice.
We will continue to work closely with public health officials and our public safety partners to monitor the situation and will adjust protocol as needed to fulfill our mission to the citizens of Yamhill County.
Additional details can be located on the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office website located here: https://www.co.yamhill.or.us/sheriff
Read more from Marion Co. Sheriff’s Office
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is actively collaborating with public health professionals and public safety partners to ensure we are prepared to maintain public safety services for Marion County. As a precaution to protect our staff and ensure we continue to fulfill our core function of keeping our community safe, our team will be adapting our services to focus on essential public safety needs.
Applying the best practices and recommendations related to reducing the spread of COVID-19, the Sheriff’s Office will be postponing community meetings, attendance at community events, volunteer programs at the jail, citizen ride-a-longs, and tours of Sheriff’s Office facilities effective immediately. Our team at the Sheriff’s Office appreciate the strong connections we have with our community members and will work to resume these activities at our earliest opportunity.
Internally, the women and men from the Sheriff’s Office have taken steps to maintain the health and well-being of our staff and the adults in our custody. We will continue with these efforts and will follow the guidance from our public health professionals to make informed decisions as we maintain services in Marion County. We encourage our community members to ensure they are getting up-to-date information about COVID-19 from Marion County Health & Human Services at: https://www.co.marion.or.us/HLT/Pages/COVID-19.aspx.
We take pride in our ability to maintain key public safety services to Marion County throughout this evolving situation.