JACKSON TWP. Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink said the calls into his department have actually decreased during the past several weeks.
He said the crime calls have been quieter with fewer people on the roads and less people out and about.
“There are no people visiting the bars which means we’ve had fewer OVIs,” Brink said. “We have gotten calls from people about places that are open and shouldn’t be and sometimes we’re asked to respond. Most businesses that are supposed to closed are doing a good job of following orders.”
Non-violent calls, such as neighbor complaints, are being taken care over the phone at times. Brink said the department will send out officers when there is a need.
Brink said they have responded to “a few domestic violence calls” and expects to see those kinds of calls increase the longer the Stay at Home order is in effect.
“We all have to be patient as we all work our way through this situation,” Brink said. “I expect to see problems come up that aren’t normal in families. I recommend that when family members get upset, to go outside, take a walk or get some fresh air and calm down.”
Other suggestions he has for staying positive and having a positive attitude include:
• Find activities that are interesting and fun and can lighten the burden and stress.
• Give each other some room and some distance throughout the day.
• Find ways to think of this time off and at home with family with a positive attitude.
The officers have several ways to stay safe and protected from getting Coronavirus. He said officers are staying safe by following several new procedures including:
• Practicing social distancing while in the office and on calls.
• The dispatch operator is asking people about feeling ill or if anyone in the home has the COVID-19 virus before sending out an officer.
• All officers have masks and gloves to wear.
Offices have been directed to do what it takes to keep themselves safe.
“We want them to wear gloves even when they are pumping gas into their vehicles,” Brink said. “We have to be really careful because if one person comes down with the virus, it could wipe an entire shift of officers. Nobody has tested positive. We have some officers who thought they may have exposed by being close to someone. The person they were close to was then tested and all have come back negative.”
Officers who may have been exposed are asked to stay at home and follow CDC guidelines. One item Brink wants to bring attention to is that he has seen groups of kids playing contact sports in the parks. He wants to remind parents they need to be cognitive of what their kids are doing while off from school.
“Parents really need to keep kids at home or go to the park with them,” he said. “They should also prohibit their kids from going on overnight stays with their friends. If we all do what’s right, this can all end sooner rather than later. We all need to do what’s right for the community.”