GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Even those who are out fighting crime have to take the necessary precautions to fight the Coronavirus. Police Chief Andrew Smith explained how the department is still working around the clock to keep the city safe, on top of making sure officers are doing their part to prevent the spread.
“We’re out there fully staffed everyday, every shift,” Smith said. “We’re keeping on top of everything, we have all types of contingency plans. If we start seeing a rise in illness here in Brown County and Green Bay, we work with all the other chiefs in all the other agencies as well as the sheriff for Brown County.”
Smith says while he and everyone else is hoping the virus calms down in the near future, necessary steps have to be taken in the meantime.
“We have a temperature station,” Smith said. “As soon as you walk in at the beginning of your shift, we have people take their temperature to make sure they don’t have a fever that they don’t know about.”
The department has also stopped their daily roll call meetings.
“Our officers go directly to their cars, they get a briefing from their watch commander outside and then they go out in the field and do their work,” Smith said.
Officers have also been given personal protective equipment like masks, safety glasses and gloves to use depending on what type of case they’re working on. If an officer pulls a car over, they’re being told to keep the six-foot distance between themselves and the driver. Changes are also being made if they need to respond to a specific residence.
“When they go to people’s houses, we ask them to call the person out into the yard or on the porch,” Smith said. “[There’s] no need to go into a house unless it’s a true emergency.”
The department is also looking at eliminating some of their specialized units for the time being to put more officers on patrol, and to have more people on board should anyone become infected with the virus. Those units include School Resource Officers, Community Policing and the traffic unit.
“We do a lot of things to keep our officers safe because we want to have those officers available out there so that everybody in the community can be kept safe as well,” Smith said.
He also added that the community support in Titletown has been something special.
“When it comes to phone calls and letters and people putting stuff outside of the station, Green Bay is terrific,” Smith said. “They really, really support their cops here in this town. I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t be prouder of the work that’s being done out there. We can defeat this virus if we all work together, and we can keep Green Bay and Brown County from getting much of the virus if all continue to work together.”
Chief Smith appears on Local 5 This Morning every month for a Community Update out of Green Bay.