BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The coronavirus is forcing us all to keep our distance during these trying times, and the Bakersfield Police Department says their officers are being smart as they respond to calls during the coronavirus pandemic.
BPD spokesman Seargeant Nathan McCauley says officers are taking steps to keep themselves and the community healthy. That starts with how they respond to calls.
“If there’s some prep work that can be done to maybe have people meet you out on the street rather than to go into the house. Maybe open up that environment, little things like that make a difference on how they go through and respond," he said.
McCauley says officers are limiting the amount of contact they have with other officers, and with community members. And if officers do have to interact directly with people, they’ll be protected. BPD officers now have the option to wear cloth face coverings while on routine duty and are equipped with n95 masks, gloves and eye protection for use when appropriate.
Bpd says they’ve seen a slight decrease in the number of calls they get per day since the state’s stay-at-home order was implemented. They usually see up to about 700.
“They've dropped in the ballpark about 100 calls per day, no particular call type has been dramatically affected, the numbers are relatively similar as far as the number of crimes, things that are being reported," McCauley said.
The agency is still responding to most types of calls, unlike the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, which announced last week it would no longer respond to certain types of calls unless they are in progress, including fraud, shoplifting and vandalism crimes. KCSO instead will ask the public to fill out an online report. Something that BPD encourages as well.
“If this is something that can be done through a telephonic report, or can be done through an online report, we’re asking community members to please report that way so we can limit the amount of contact we’re having," McCauley said.
McCauley says he has not been made aware of any BPD officers testing positive for coronavirus.