Pennsylvania State Police modifies non-emergency response amid COVID-19 outbreak

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania State Police is temporarily changing the way troopers respond to non-emergency incidents during the coronavirus outbreak.

"With the goal of limiting in-person contact and mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the department has identified certain types of calls that may be resolved with limited or no on-scene response. The change went into effect April 1, 2020 and will remain until further notice," the State Police said.

According to Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, troopers will begin collecting information by phone for incidents that do not require an in-person response.

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"This change affects only a limited number of call types, and the public can be confident that the PSP has the personnel, equipment, and plans in place to respond to emergencies and other critical incidents," Evanchick said.

State police say the types of calls that will see this modified response include lost and found items, littering, identity theft, and general requests to speak to a trooper.

State police response protocol to emergencies and crimes in progress remains unchanged.

For those needing to visit a Pennsylvania State Police station, authorities ask to be mindful of social distancing. Police say signs have been posted at the entrances instructing visitors not enter if they are experiencing symptoms or have been close in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Instead, they are instructed to contact the station by phone to speak to a trooper who may come outside to resolve the situation one-on-one if needed.

"Our facilities remain open as a public resource 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Colonel Evanchick. "Essential personnel remain ready to assist as needed during this unprecedented public health crisis, and we appreciate the public's continued support."

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