OTTAWA POLICE DEPARTMENT COVID-19 RESPONSE PROCEDURES
The Ottawa Police Department is here to help! During the COVID-19 Pandemic the Ottawa Police Department is taking proactive steps to keep the community, our employees and their families safe. For several weeks the department has been taking proactive steps behind the scenes to adjust our work procedures to keep our first responders safe.
The department developed internal benchmarks to adjust our responses based on the daily information provided by the Franklin County Health Department, and our national partners providing guidance and suggested best practices.
Based on meeting certain benchmarks the department will enact the following procedures to ensure police officers are available to respond to emergencies. Like many agencies the department is adjusting daily, if not hour-by-hour.
Here are some changes the community should know about: • All Municipal Court operations are closed until April 8. The department will determine prior to that date the need to extend the closure. Anyone who has a Ottawa Police Department citation can still pay online. If you cannot pay online there is a payment drop box for cash or check in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center. Clerks will email/mail receipts upon processing the payments dropped off. • The Ottawa Police Department will stop the following services for now: o Employment Fingerprints o Return/Release of Property to the Public. ▪ Anyone who needs property returned can email email@example.com or call 785-242-2561 Ext. 7405 and leave a message to schedule property returns. o Fulfill request for public relations events. o Providing printed copies of reports. All reports will be emailed. Anyone can request a report copy by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org • The department created 2 online reporting tools for the public to file police reports for minor property damage only motor vehicle accidents and certain thefts. The public will go to https://www.ottawaks.gov/police and look for the Motor Vehicle Accident and Incident Reporting tabs on the left side of the screen. Both of these options will be available sometime before the end of the day on March 18, 2020. • Handle a majority of calls designated as low-priority by telephone. Citizens can still call dispatch, provide information and an officer will call the citizen to handle the call. • Ask citizens to come out of their home and talk to officers outside for on-scene calls. • Use a 6-foot rule for contact. Please honor the officer’s request to stand back 6-feet and not to shake hands. • For additional questions please call the police at 785-242-2561 and court at 785-242-5333. • To pay court fines online go to https://www.municipalonlinepayments.com/ottawaks/court/search.
Chief Weingartner said “During unprecedented times unprecedented response are necessary to deliver the service our citizens expect. Adjusting our priorities to ensure the police can respond to emergencies is my primary goal. I am asking for the public’s help and patience during the time. Our response to emergency calls will not change. If you need us, we will be there.”