In an effort to cut down on the amount of contact law enforcement officials have with the public during the novel coronavirus pandemic, one department is taking police reports by phone.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office announced on Tuesday, March 17, the department will be taking those reports for certain types of calls telephonically as long as COVID-19 continues to affect the state.
The types of calls taken over the phone will include those that do not require an investigation at the scene, the collection of evidence or the physical presence of a deputy, the department said.
The goal of the temporary procedure is to cut down on any unnecessary in-person contact to help mitigate the risks associated with person to person transmission of the coronavirus.
"Since our deputies interact with so many people throughout the day, having them unnecessarily interact with our community, some of which are considered vulnerable, it is a responsible approach to limiting a possible exposure," the department said in a statement.
On calls in which deputies do respond, the department said deputies are likely to keep a safe distance and avoid any contact such as shaking hands.
In the case of crimes of violence, crimes against a person, or crimes in progress, deputies will always respond, the department said.
If residents are concerned or in need of help, the department said they should not hesitate to call.
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