HAMPTON, Va. — Police officers in Hampton have changed the way they handle calls, conduct patrols, and added more hygiene protocols because of the coronavirus.
Most of the Hampton police units will have steady red and blue lights flashing. Public Information Officer Reginald Williams says they typically do this ahead of a hurricane, but the coronavirus has changed that policy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly one of those times where we want to be seen and we want the public to know we are there for them to provide assists at any capacity,” said Williams.
Williams explained they’ve also added more personal protection equipment like gloves and masks.
“In some cases, officers wear those if they're responding to a call when they’ve been notified that a person is exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory illness or someone that has been known to have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Williams.
The procedure for responding to 911 calls changed too.
“So if it’s a simple report where there’s no suspect on scene, our officers are actually being instructed to take those [reports] over the telephones to limit contact with citizens,” said Williams.
Williams mentioned the officers have enough personal protective equipment to handle a coronavirus call. They want to remind the public if they see flashing lights to safely move out of their way.