The Townsend Police Department continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation in collaboration with state and local emergency management agencies. This message is intended to provide you with information on the Townsend Police Department’s efforts to safeguard our employees from the impact of COVID-19 as we continue our mission to deliver effective and efficient police services to the community we serve.
As you are aware, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared a State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak. While there is no reason to think that Townsend is at any higher risk than other cities and towns, the Town’s governing body and public safety agencies have taken steps in an effort to provide for the health and safety of our employees and the Townsend community. As such, we will continue to encourage good hygiene practices including washing hands and limiting person-to person contact. We will continue to advise community members that have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing to stay away from others, practice social distancing, and to contact their medical provider if needed. We will work with our community partners to meet the needs of at-risk populations to reduce risk within their environments.
We are monitoring this public health emergency and will adjust agency protocols accordingly. Effective today, March 16th, we have changed the call procedure for officers allowing them to take reports and gather information from reporting parties telephonically. This does not mean that officers will not respond to calls that require an immediate response, such as motor vehicle accidents, crimes, or incidents that present an imminent and/or immediate threat to safety. Residents are asked to contact the police as you normally would.
We want to do our best, in partnership with you, to reduce the risks of COVID-19, by safeguarding our employees from any unnecessary exposure. We have provided information about the virus to our employees as well as information on how to mitigate risk of exposure to them and their families. An internal reporting process has been put in place in the event an employee is exposed to, or exhibits symptoms of the virus as well.
As this public health emergency evolves, we will adjust our practices to best protect our employees while continuing to deliver safe and effective police services. The health and safety of our employees, as well as the health, safety, and well-being of our fellow citizens are, and will remain, our number one priorities.
Interim Chief of Police