Local police departments are taking steps to limit the number of people coming into police stations by advising residents to use the phone or email when possible.
Police departments in Southington, Wallingford and Meriden are no longer taking fingerprinting applications. In Meriden, the change is in effect until March 30. Cheshire police asked residents who need fingerprinting for discretionary reasons to consider delaying it. Cheshire police are still offering fingerprinting by appointment only on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Records departments in Meriden, Southington and Cheshire are not taking in-person requests. Residents are asked to make requests by calling or emailing. In Wallingford, the Records Department is open, but there is a phone on the counter for people to make requests to the clerks inside the department, Lt. Cheryl Bradley said Wednesday. Police are asking that if the report is not a necessity, to please wait to come to the department to limit contact.
Southington police are encouraging residents to use a new online reporting system set up for the coronavirus threat, but stressed it is not intended for emergencies. The public can use the online reporting system for non-emergency calls they want documented without having to speak to an officer in person, Lt. Stephen Elliott said Wednesday in a press release. The system can be accessed at southingtonpolice.org, facebook.com/SouthingtonPoliceDepartment and at Southington.org
Once someone submits an online report, they will receive an e-mail receipt. An officer will review the report and a follow up email will be sent giving the person a case number, Elliott said.
“These adjustments to our responses to calls for service are intended to increase our ability to respond to emergency calls and calls for crimes in progress,” Elliott said. “For crimes in progress and emergency calls please call 911 for assistance.”
Southington police have also suspended the use of the medication drop box.
Cheshire police are also asking residents and business owners who need police investigations, but do not have witness or suspect information to call in the incident. Calls will be evaluated and an officer will gather the appropriate information and issue a case number by phone. They also noted 911 should still be used in case of an emergency and 203-271-5500 for non-emergencies.
Wallingford police do not take reports over the phone, Bradley said. However, if a resident is having an issue where they are looking to know what the law is for a situation or for what certain procedures are, Bradley said they can call the department.
“It has slowed down,” Bradley said. “People are really trying to protect themselves.”