MENDOCINO Co., 3/16/20 — In an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mendocino County, and to protect people in front line services such as law enforcement officers, and paramedics, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is making some changes to patrol protocols.
The two biggest changes are that that they will be attempt to deal with non-emergency issues via the phone, and that they will ask, “additional screening questions of the reporting party to address and assess the general risk of COVID-19 exposure for responding personnel,” when responding to emergency calls.
These measures are important to assure the safety of first-responders one of the populations that is most at risk during this pandemic.
There are additional measures concerning fingerprinting and access to the MCSO stations, all those details are in the press release from the MCSO, which explains the new policies in detail:
DATE: “March 16, 2020”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Public Service Announcement
COVID-19 Patrol Protocols
Date of Incident:
Lieutenant Quincy Cromer #2651
In response to the updated information being distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mendocino County Department of Public Health regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has implemented new patrol protocols to better protect the public and agency employees.
The Sheriff’s Office remains dedicated to providing the highest level of service to the public and has implemented these changes to comply with the directions and guidelines being distributed by the CDC and Mendocino County Department of Public Health.
Effective immediately, Sheriff’s Office employees will attempt to primarily handle non-emergency calls for service over the telephone. Sheriff’s Office dispatchers are being asked to obtain telephone numbers or other contact information for reporting parties so deputies can contact those subjects on the telephone to take a report or address their law enforcement needs.
This will not change the response protocol for in-progress crimes, violent offenses, situations where there is a risk to the general public, and coroner’s cases. In these situations, Sheriff’s Office dispatchers will be asking additional screening questions of the reporting party to address and assess the general risk of COVID-19 exposure for responding personnel. It is important that the general public understands that these questions are to enable emergency personnel to serve the needs of the public, while ensuring appropriate safety precautions are in place to limit and mitigate possible COVID-19 exposure.
Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office will be closing the public entry for the Fort Bragg Substation and other outlying offices until further notice. Sheriff’s Office personnel and staffing will not be changed during this time, although the outlying offices will be closed to the general public.
Members of the public who are requesting law enforcement assistance from the Sheriff’s Office are encouraged to call 911 for any emergencies, and for non-emergency calls they can contact the 24-hour Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086 (Ukiah), 707-961-2421 (Fort Bragg), or 707-459-7833 (Willits).
The main Sheriff’s Office in Ukiah will remain open to the public; however live-scan fingerprinting of the public will be temporarily suspended. Persons who are required to register with law enforcement agencies pursuant to state law will still be registered by Sheriff’s Office personnel. Those who need to register pursuant to state law are being asked to call the main Sheriff’s Office in Ukiah at 707-463-4411 to schedule an appointment.
Walk-in traffic at the main Sheriff’s Office in Ukiah will be primarily handled over the telephone or the lobby phone for non-emergency calls for service, criminal reports, or situations where deputy contact is requested.
For additional information regarding the COVID-19 virus, please contact the call center at 707-234-6052 or visit the following websites:
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
– Mendocino County Department of Public Health: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the public in advance for your cooperation and understanding during this time and will send out additional information and updates to these protocols as they become available.
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184