Bay Area Police Departments take measures to protect themselves from COVID-19

   As more and more people increase their "social distancing" to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), police departments are making adjustments to protect themselves and the public.  On Saturday, police chiefs from Pleasant Hill and San Leandro became the latest departments to make changes in certain procedures to minimize physical contact with the public.

   Pleasant Hill Chief Bryan Hill said in a news release that police dispatchers might ask callers a series of questions to assess exposure risks for officers responding to a call. Similar screening will be done to visitors the department's front lobby. Also, police will encourage using telephone and online reporting options in situations where physical police contact is not required.

   San Leandro police Chief Jeff Tudor also said his department will ask callers to fill out police reports online or to speak with an officer over the phone, instead of making in-person visits in situations that don't demand them. The department may also practicing social distancing by holding fewer community events, he added.   Both Tudor and Hill stressed that officers will continue to respond in person to any call that demands it. They also said they are confident these moves will be temporary.