At the Gettysburg Borough COVID-19 Emergency Task Force meeting on Thursday, Police Chief Glenny announced changes to the active policing of the borough.
“First and absolutely foremost, if you have emergency or believe you have an emergency, dial 911 and the police will respond. I don’t want you to have to think about that,” said Glenny.
Glenny said that if the issue was not an emergency, people should call the non-emergency dispatch office at 717.334.8101.
“We will not be handling minor incidents in person anymore. Unfortunately, with this crisis we will not be responding in person to less serious reports. We will if you call us at a minimum try to call you on the phone,” said Glenny.
Glenny said any in-progress incidents would be handled by officers on the scene.
“A curfew is now in place that mirrors the current ordinance in place for juveniles,” said Glenny.
The curfew is from 11:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. “Our goal is not to go out and cite a lot of people for violating the curfew. Our goal is to help support and maintain the state and federal emergency orders,” said Glenny.
Glenny said residents could be out during the curfew hours to go to the grocery store or to help someone with a health-related issue. Glenny said the curfew was in place “to minimize contact.”
Glenny said the department had also put in place a new online reporting mechanism called Crimewatch that will allow residents to report non-emergency situations.
Glenny said the Crimewatch report form “captures almost all the information an officer would ask” if the person had called in.
The form allows residents to enter location, information, photos, and perceived seriousness of the issue.
Glenny said once the form was submitted it would be emailed to members of the police department. Glenny said this form was not for dispatching officers and was not monitored around the clock. Glenny said residents can expect a phone call from a police officer in a day or so after submitting.
Other changes involve staffing, including having a supervisor on duty around the clock and attempts to segregate squads.
Glenny said officers had been issued personal protective equipment and instructions on decontamination procedures. “We have plans in place,” said Glenny.
“Don’t be alarmed if we try to screen you on first contact, and don’t be alarmed if the officer approaching you has a mask, gloves, and possibly a face shield. We contact a number of people on a daily basis and were trying to minimize our exposure as well,” said Glenny.
“I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming show of support. We absolutely appreciate it. It’s very noticed and very appreciated,” said Glenny.
“We’re always here. We’ll always maintain. We’re trying to maintain our one principle that the police are the public and the public are the police,” said Glenny.
Please click here to view Chief Glenny’s full statement: