Edmonton police, RCMP announce changes due to COVID-19
An Edmonton police vehicle is seen in this file photo. (Sean Amato/CTV News Edmonton)
EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Police Service has outlined "critical" protocols it has implemented since the outbreak of COVID-19.
"Currently the Edmonton Police Service has some individuals who we've had to self-isolate," said Supt. Dean Hilton.
Those self-isolating either recently came back from travelling abroad, or were displaying flu-like symptoms," said Hilton.
EPS is currently looking at its response plan to the pandemic.
Hilton says the department's mission is to maintain all policing services, while focusing on prevention for its members, and preventing the spread of the virus from members in self-isolation.
"That would include minimizing our contact with [the] public in some of our public facilities," said Hilton.
In order to protect front-line officers, 911 and complaint line operators will be asking three questions related to COVID-19.
- Have you been in proximity to anyone infected?
- Have you recently returned from outside of Canada in the last 30 days?
- Have you experienced any flu-like symptoms in the last three days?
Members will respond as-per-usual protocol, said Hilton, but they will practice social-distancing, and they'll have personal protective equipment they can wear as well.
"A pandemic is obviously challenging us all, and we expect the public to band together, practice good health, hygiene, social-distancing, and do our part to try and mitigate the spread of this nasty virus," said Hilton.
Alberta RCMP announced similar changes Wednesday, saying effective immediately it will be restricting access to public spaces within RCMP facilities.
Fingerprinting for Criminal Record Checks will only be done in exceptional circumstances, non-urgent requests will be done at a later date.
RCMP are asking the public to consult its provincial directory, before heading to a police detachment, if your request requires personal contact with an officer, the decision will be made over the phone.
"These decisions were made to ensure that there were no impacts to essential services, keeping our communities safe," said Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki in a statement.
RCMP are stressing that the public only call 911 in an emergency, and that its Operational Communication Centres are open and fully functional for all emergency calls.