Rehoboth updates response for nonemergencies
Police to focus on enforcing state of emergency
FROM: Cape Gazette
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rehoboth Beach Police Department has modified its procedures for handling nonemergency service calls.
In a press release March 24, department spokesman Lt. Jamie Riddle said the department is encouraging officers in nonemergency situations to conduct investigations by telephone and email as much as possible. When face-to-face encounters are necessary, he said, officers have been encouraged to maintain social distancing by doing the job outdoors as much as possible.
“Most importantly, in emergency situations,” he said, “our officers will respond as they always have with the safety of our citizens and visitors as their primary concern.”
In a follow-up email, Riddle said the department made its first emergency procedural policy change March 14 and then made a second March 23. As more research is done and information is disseminated, said Riddle, the police department will continue to update procedures to protect officers and the community.
In addition to changes for nonemergency investigations, the release states the police department has taken steps such as staggering shifts, reducing the use of shared patrol cars, restricting access within police department facilities, wearing machine-washable uniforms, and frequent sanitation of facilities and equipment.
Officials said the department’s primary focus is the state of emergency, which means strict enforcement restrictions against public gatherings, the operation of nonessential businesses, and the closure of the beach and Boardwalk to everyone.
In the follow-up email, Riddle said, as a community, everyone must understand this is not a vacation.
“Families are at risk and people’s careers/businesses are being affected,” said Riddle. “It is imperative that people not gather in public, that nonessential businesses remain closed, and that everyone stays off the beach and Boardwalk.”
Riddle also encourages people to thank healthcare providers, EMTs and paramedics.
“These individuals are on the front lines of this fight, and they are truly putting themselves at risk every day, multiple times each day,” he said.
The Rehoboth Beach Police Department, 229 Rehoboth Ave., can be reached at 302-227-2577 for more information.