During this past week, I have received some questions and inquiries about how the Police Department will be serving the community during this crisis associated with the COVID-19 virus and the restrictions associated with the Governor’s recent order.
On March 23, Governor Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that requires all citizens in Washington to stay home unless there is a need to pursue an essential activity, ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes, and to close all non-essential businesses. This order will be in effect for a period of at least 2 weeks. Based on this, I wanted to share with you how we will be supporting the Governor’s order and what our role is in maintaining the safety of our citizens. I hope the following guidelines will help in answering any questions that you may have.
The Snoqualmie Police Department’s primary role will be to help educate those who may be in conflict with the restrictions. At this time, we will not be taking an enforcement stance as we are not being asked to detain, arrest, ticket or establish checkpoints for compliance. What we will do is make contact if a violation is observed and take the opportunity to advise them of the restrictions and ultimately resolve the conflict through an educational focus. It is also our hope that those who live in our community will self-regulate their behavior and comply with the Governor’s restrictions. These restrictions are solely for the purpose in maintaining the health and safety of our community. It really is a community effort that will be required to stop this crisis.
Additionally, to help our officers stay healthy, SPD officers will be doing their best to comply with the restrictions as well during their workday. When appropriate, officers may handle a non-emergency call for service by calling the reporting person, or by following social distancing requirements. But calls for service that require immediate response will be handled in the same manner as you are accustomed too.
Some of the activities that are appropriate include:
- Going outside for a walk while maintaining the 6-foot social distancing requirement.
- Going to the grocery store or pharmacy.
- Commuting to a workplace that is recognized as essential.
Be assured, we will always be driven by our duty to “protect and serve” and we will always maintain our commitment to the community. Ultimately, all our actions will be focused on maintaining the safety of our community and its citizens.
Chief P. Phipps
Snoqualmie Police Department
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City of Snoqualmie