March 20, 2020
Policing Services in Delta during COVID-19
Delta Police wish to reassure the public that while they may see some changes to policing services during the coming weeks, a robust plan has been implemented to support the goals of public safety through the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’ve had a pandemic plan in place for over a decade,” says Chief Neil Dubord, head of the Delta Police. “We began pre-pandemic planning in January 2020, when news first started coming out of China. As I said in a message to all our employees today, I’m very confident in our continued planning process as well as our team’s incredible work. We’re as prepared as we can be in an environment that is changing daily.”
So far, the Delta Police Department has suspended fingerprinting services, the Community Police Offices have been closed, and volunteer programs have been suspended.
Front line officers have been issued masks, gloves, eye-wear protection and are practicing social distancing. Police vehicles are being thoroughly cleaned, and cleaning has been significantly stepped up in our buildings.
“I’d like to also give a shout out to the great work being done by our colleagues at E-COMM as they are now screening all callers to ensure first responders have a heads up if anyone is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms,” says Chief Dubord. “If the public could please assist them, and make sure you don’t call 9-1-1 for information about COVID. There are plenty of good resources available through our governments.”
Regarding how Delta Police will deal with sickness among its staff of employees and police officers, Chief Dubord notes the pandemic plan calls for the department to drawn upon officers from non-critical functions. Those police offices, such as school liaison officers, will be redeployed to support the front line.
However, to conserve resources, the department is starting to drawback on its service delivery, for example, not attending all property crime-related calls in person. Instead, officers will take more of those types of reports by phone.
“But I want to reassure you that DPD officers will continue to attend to all reports of crimes in progress, and persons crimes, including robbery, assaults, domestic violence calls, etc. And we will continue to attend serious collisions and address traffic safety concerns,” says Chief Dubord. On the latter, he notes that many people are distracted by the crisis, and now more than ever it’s essential for police to assist drivers, pedestrians and cyclists in getting to their destinations safely.
“As a community, we will get through this together,” says Chief Dubord. “We need to continue to look out for one another.” “I encourage everyone to follow the guidance provided by our Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, especially in avoiding large groups of people and social distancing.”