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Law Enforcement, First Responders Enhancing Protocols During COVID-19

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Ohio Department of Transportation

Police and other law enforcement officers come into contact with a lot of people. That puts them more at risk in lots of ways. And now, they’re at risk from the coronavirus.

The Center for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health have issued new guidelines for law enforcement officers.

Trooper Sheldon Goodrum, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says the guidelines are really just an enhancement of the health and safety protocols they already use every day.

“We're working very hard," he says. "Not only to keep ourselves safe, but also the individuals that we work with or that we interact with day to day. So, our core mission and what we do has not changed and it will not change.”

The Patrol says interactions are a dangerous situation even under normal circumstances. When they pull over a driver, officers may now ask that person read out the information on their driver’s license, or on their insurance and registration.

Law enforcement officials are also doing what they can to add distance between themselves and the people they interact with.

“I know that some troopers, they are making stops and when they go up to speak with the people in the vehicle, speak with the driver, rather than asking for your license, your insurance, your registration. So, we're encouraging troopers to ask the violator or the driver to hold up their license and we'll write down their name, date of birth, driver's license number, etc…”.

While the Dayton Police Department has said that they are no longer sending officers out to investigate traffic crashes unless there are injuries involved, it may be that the number of accidents and violations are fewer in the next few weeks.

Traffic volume has noticeably decreased in the last week or so, and now, with Governor DeWine’s Stay at Home order now in effect, that trend is likely to continue for the time being.