AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Police Department has announced operational changes in response to the coronavirus.
APD says the changes will go into effect immediately and are intended to "operationalize the best practices put forth by the Centers for Disease Control to mitigate the disease impact while still maintaining our public safety responsibilities."
APD says they are not amending response to critical calls where life or safety is jeopardized or at immediate risk.
The following changes have been implemented:
- APD will increase use of online or over-the-phone reporting for lower priority calls
- APD will no longer send officers/civilians to calls that can be addressed through online or phone reports, including property crime technicians
- APD will no longer respond to crashes with no injuries and where all vehicles are drivable
- APD will continue traffic enforcement for hazardous violations; enforcement for non-hazardous violations is at officer's discretion but generally discouraged
- APD will amend sex offender check-in operations. Newly released offenders will still be processed and registered. Currently registered offenders who come to APD to conduct check-ins will confirm information on file is still accurate and be instructed to call and make an appointment to come back at a later date for in-person processing
- APD is suspending in-person report sales; those needing a copy of a report can follow instructions online
- APD is suspending public fingerprinting services
APD has also secured the lobby in the police department headquarters and has restricted access at sub-stations to prevent unnecessary contact. Phones will be provided for visitors and admission will be allowed for those with a need.
APD says those needing or wanting to make a report online can use the city's website.