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The original item was published from 3/13/2020 3:41:55 PM to 3/31/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: March 13, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Wellesley Police Announce Changes in Police Response due to COVID-19

In an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 illness, the Wellesley Police Department will be taking the following steps immediately: 

Until late March, 2020 the department will be suspending taking new license to carry (LTC) applications.  Renewals applications for LTC will also be suspended unless the LTC is about to expire.  Lt. Jeff Renzella JRenzella@WellesleyMa.Gov will judge these on a case by case basis.  Additionally, fingerprint services (card) for the public will also be suspended.  Car seat inspections and installations will be suspended as well.

Citizens calling in for police services will be screened by our dispatch staff to determine if an immediate police response is needed.  In most cases, where applicable and possible, Wellesley Police Officers will take reports via the telephone, especially where there is a past event (identity theft, credit card fraud, quality of life reports).  Citizens who walk into the police station lobby will also be screened to determine if a phone report is applicable.  In some cases, it may be appropriate to conduct an interview or take a report outside of the police station and out of the common lobby area.

We encourage citizens to call the police department via telephone ahead of time before travelling to the station to make a report.  In many cases, a police officer can and will take care of a citizen’s needs by phone, and thus reduce the chance of spreading the COVID-19 illness. 

Wellesley Police Officers will continue to respond to emergency calls for service without delay.  If you have an emergency, dial 911 and officers will respond as always! 

Officers responding to homes and buildings may ask some pre-screen questions regarding potential illnesses before entering a building.  These questions are not invasive, and are meant to keep both the citizen and the police safe during the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The Wellesley Police Department sincerely regrets having to take these precautions.  The Wellesley Police Department is an organization that often serves the public in a truly ‘non-traditional police services’ role.  Our Wellesley Police family takes great pride in being police officers and community caretakers for the town.  In fact, it is one of our core values that we cherish.  Having to take these steps is, with the ever changing COVID-19 situation, unfortunately necessary to keep both our officers and the public safe, while not hindering our ability to provide critical police services to the public.  

We anticipate taking these actions for the next two weeks until March 27, when we will re-evaluate the ever changing situation with the COVID-19 illness. 

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