Meridian's Police Department Limits In-Person Responses Due to COVID
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Meridian Township Police Department is now limiting in-person responses for certain infractions. This decision was made on Friday, Nov. 13 to reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community.
“Because of the spike of cases that we have experienced here, not just in Ingham County but all over the state, we want to make sure that we are limiting contact with people as much as possible for the public’s safety as well as our own safety,” said Lt. Richard Grillo from Meridian’s Police Department. “If it’s something we can handle over the phone, we will. But really, what our main goal here is to limit our exposure to the public and the publics exposure to us as much as we can.”
This is not a new protocol, but one that was created last April near the start of the pandemic and is now being reinstated.
“People still will be able to get in if they’re in the midst of an emergency, but for the most part, what we are hoping is that people will call ahead and if it’s something that we can handle over the phone like a crime that is not in progress or a property crime, those types of things,“ Grillo said.
The kind of crimes that should be called in are:
-Fraud and/or identity theft with no clear suspect or that are not in Meridian’s jurisdiction
-Property damage or theft under 1,000 dollars
-Accidents with private property
-Any complaints that are civil
“Those types of things that aren’t necessarily in progress, call us. We’ll make a determination. We will always send an officer to your house if you request one. We have no problem doing that,” said Grillo. “We’re just trying to do our best to limit exposure. So if it’s something we can cover over the phone, we’d like to do that, for your safety and for ours.”
The police department is working to ensure their safety in other additional ways. They have recently received a grant from the state of Michigan with which they have spent the money on PPE.
Other than closing off the building as much as possible to the public, the officers are coming into the building less themselves. Their regular briefings are now being held over Zoom as well.