Reacting to coronavirus, MNPD limits officer in-person calls

Mar 19, 2020

Credit MNPD

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- Metro Nashville Police are making changes to reduce the risk their officers will be exposed to Covid-19 by limiting the kinds of calls they respond to in person.

Officers will continue to respond to calls involving an immediate threat of harm to residents, and cases where criminal activity is ongoing. But more routine calls will now be handled by phone.

Those include non-injury vehicle crashes, vandalism, and thefts under five thousand dollars.

The full list of calls that will, and will not, be responded to in-person by MNPD is included below. You will also find instructions for handling routine calls by phone.

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MNPD Implementing Temporary Alternative Call Response Program to Help Safeguard the Health of Officers and the Public

3/18/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chief Steve Anderson this afternoon announced that the COVID-19 pandemic is prompting the MNPD to implement a temporary program for alternative call response effective with today’s evening shift in order to minimize the potential for exposure or spread of the virus.

“Officers will be triaging non-emergency and non-violent calls for service where the perpetrator is not present to determine whether a report can be taken via telephone instead of in-person,” Chief Anderson said. “This program was designed to promote the health of the men and women protecting Nashville’s public safety as well as that of our residents and visitors.”

Calls fitting the criteria for alternative response triaging include:

  • Non-injury minor vehicle crashes that are not blocking a roadway where there is no disturbances between drivers, no driver impairment, and no vehicles that have to be towed;
  • Lost property (wallet, purse, phone, etc.), excluding firearms or narcotics;
  • Identity theft with no physical evidence to collect;
  • Thefts from a publicly accessible space, including shoplifting, and thefts from yards, construction sites, public storage facilities and detached garages where the perpetrator is not present, the loss is less than $5,000, and there is no recoverable evidence at the scene;
  • Thefts FROM vehicles, excluding firearms, where there is no recoverable evidence at the scene;
  • Vandalism or damage to property where the perpetrator is not present and the loss is less than $5,000.

Every caller whose report is taken by telephone will receive the incident number, the officer’s name who took the report, how to obtain a copy of the report, and any appropriate follow up telephone numbers for MNPD investigative components.

To aid officers in taking reports over the telephone, 235 new cellphones are being delivered to the MNPD today and will be distributed among the eight precincts. They will be shared by officers on each detail.

Calls not eligible for triaging under the temporary alternative response program include those involving:

  • An ongoing or immediate threat involving bodily injury;
  • Ongoing or active criminal activity;
  • Calls where evidence collection or photographs are required;
  • Motor vehicle thefts;
  • Motor vehicle recoveries;
  • Juvenile runaways or those who escape judicial confinement.

A caller whose matter qualifies for alternative response will receive a telephone call from an MNPD officer who will inform the caller that due to the ongoing shared risk of COVID-19, a report of their incident may be able to be taken over the phone. If the call does necessitate a response to an address, the officer is likely to ask the caller to step outside to complete the interview process so that social distancing can be maintained.

Chief Anderson emphasizes that Alternative Call Response is a temporary program to help safeguard the health of both officers and the public.

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