Police Departments In N.H. Change Practices To Prevent Spread Of COVID-19

Mar 26, 2020

Credit NHPR File Photo

Police departments across the state are trying to limit the amount of face-to-face contact between officers and the public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Two patrol partners in Laconia are in quarantine after one tested positive. 

Laconia Police Chief Matt Canfield says the coronavirus pandemic does put his officers at great risk.

“They can’t always wear personal protective equipment just given the nature of the job and the dangers associated with it -- from an officer safety standpoint,” Canfield said.

Laconia and other police departments have closed their station lobbies to the public.

The Manchester Police Department has kept its lobby open, but only to people in emergency situations. Spokesperson Heather Hamel says officers will handle non-emergent situations by phone.

“Instead of them responding immediately like they always do, they will be doing triage over the phone to determine whether or not it warrants a face-to-face sort of situation,” Hamel said.

Hamel says the number of police officers on the street is the same, and investigations of crimes will continue uninterrupted.