The Juneau Police Department, March 20, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

The Juneau Police Department, March 20, 2020. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire)

JPD hardens department against possible coronavirus infection

JPD is looking to reduce chances of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

The Juneau Police Department is modifying its operating procedures to reduce risk of COVID-19 infection, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

“Because of this epidemic, people are forced to find new ways to do things,” said JPD Lt. Krag Campbell in a phone interview. “It’s about limiting our exposure to the public, and public’s to us.”

JPD will be closing its lobby until further notice, and working to curtail nonessential social interaction to the greatest extent practicable, Campbell said. This includes encouraging residents requiring assistance to file online.

[CCFR sets up drive-thru testing]

“If we have the ability to push something online, we’ll do it,” Campbell said. “That’s still sent to dispatch, and can be sent right to an officer.”

Officers will also be employing more discretion in choosing to arrest and jail subjects for non-violent offenses, to reduce strain on correctional facilities, which can be hotspots for disease outbreaks.

“We’re getting direction from the courts and prosecutors on this. Everyone’s affected,” Campbell said. “We look at this and we’re like: A person committed a crime. Do they need to go to jail?”

Campbell said that individuals committing crimes against other persons will still be arrested, but others may have their incarceration deferred until the threat of local outbreak has lessened.

“We can still file charges on them,” Campbell said. “You committed this crime, and you’re going to have to go to court and appear next month or something.”

Gloves are mandatory for all officers, Campbell said, and individual officers have discretion over face and eye protection. Officers who expect to be in close proximity with members of the public will be able to wear more protective equipment at their choice.

“It’s been a little tricky at first, since we don’t carry a ton of supplies,” Campbell said.

Once the city’s emergency operations center was stood up, more masks and other supplies were made available to JPD, Campbell said, but donations of things such as masks or gloves for police officers and other first responders were still welcome. He suggested contacting the nonemergency dispatch line at 586-0600 to find out how to donate.

More in News

Police calls for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire 
                                Henry Williams runs from Douglas to the Mendenhall Valley on Memorial Day to honor dead service members, including his relative, Air Force Tech Sgt. Leslie Dominic Williams, who died in Afghanistan in 2011.
Memorial Day passes quietly amid coronavirus concerns, damp weather

People found their own ways to honor the hallowed dead.

Police calls for Tuesday, May 26, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Police calls for Sunday, May 24, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire File
                                School districts throughout the state will put together plans for what the next school year will look like. Juneau School District Superintendent Bridget Weisse said smaller groups and less mixing are expected to remain important.
Juneau School District readies for summer assignment

Districts will plan for how to safely continue education.

Police calls for Friday, May 22, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Courtesy Photo | Andrew Kemmis Photography 
                                Alexis Sallee, one of the hosts of the Native Artists podcast and a filmmaker, was photographed at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2020.
New podcast spotlights indigenous artists, seeks to inspire others

Pod-casting a wide net for talented creators.

Most Read