Jacksonville Police Using New Protocols To Protect Officers and the Public

By Benjamin Cox on March 18, 2020 at 9:40am

The Jacksonville Police Department has put in place some new protocols to protect against any spread of the COVID-19 virus while also maintaining their high level of public protection. Police Chief Adam Mefford said that non-emergency medical calls are being left up to medical response rather than officers. “For instance, if it’s non-life threatening situation or if law enforcement have not been summoned, we will let those medical calls be handled by medical professionals to limit contact with officers and the public. In those situations, we are encouraging officers to make contact in situations where it is not an in-progress call, where there are potentially no suspects, witnesses, or evidence to collect – the officer may be inclined to handle that over the phone rather than respond in person with permission from a supervisor.”

Mefford says the police department is closed to only staff while the public foyer in front of the department remains open. “We are still conducting business as usual. If you come to the police department and want to speak to a police officer, you can speak to an officer. We have not quarantined the lobby section of the building or the department, only the in-board portion where the officers conduct their business. Unless it’s an exigent circumstance, obviously we would allow someone in our agency. Non-essential personnel that is not related to the police are not allowed into the secure area of the department. City Hall and the Police Department is open for business.”

The Citizens Police Academy has been suspended until further notice. Lunch with A cop with students is also suspended while school is out. Non-essential meetings have also been suspended at the department.