COVID-19 Emergency Response: Law Enforcement

Local law enforcement should take the following actions to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 within the communities in which they are located: 

  • Limit contacts, stops, and warrant enforcement to situations where there is a reasonable imminent concern for public safety. 
  • Limit instances of taking people into custody, and taking a person into custody should be a last resort. 
  • Maximize use of cite and release for as many offenses as possible within a jurisdiction’s policies.
  • Even when necessary to place a person under arrest, have all arrestees screened by a medical provider for possible COVID-19 exposure before the person is taken to the local jail/booking facility in order to limit/prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. 
  • Provide all patrol officers with sufficient sanitizing products and one-page information sheets about COVID-19, for  both their own use and to provide to people they encounter on the job.
  • Ensure all patrol officers and other officers who interact with the public have access to sufficient testing and education about the virus for  themselves, and other prompt medical care if needed.
  • Ensure all employees in their command are aware that they should not report to work if they themselves are feeling any symptoms and that any leave will be fully compensated. 
  • Release to the public the existing plan for each law enforcement agency for how it plans to assist the public with combatting COVID-19 and with the steps it is taking to ensure the health and safety of the community and all officers.

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