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South Berwick police adapting response measures due to coronavirus

Minor incidents may be handled via phone at the discretion of the officer; felonies or crimes against a person will always receive an immediate response, police say.
Credit: NCM

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — The South Berwick Police Dept. announced via Facebook Thursday they are temporarily adopting measures to “help ensure everyone’s good health.”

In the post, the Dept. says officers will have the discretion to handle minor complaints via phone, but felonies or crimes against a person will always receive an immediate response.

“Some thefts, frauds, or minor incidents (that are not in progress) may be triaged over the phone and determined if an additional in-person response is needed.”

They say written statements can be emailed, and at times officers may ask to speak with complainants outdoors when possible.

Officers will try to keep a distance of 5-6 feet when possible and may not shake hands, the post says.

RELATED: Maine CDC: 2 more 'presumptive positive' cases of COVID-19 confirmed; 3 total in Maine

“Please understand and realize it is for all of our good health."

The South Portland Police Dept. is also adopting some measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

The department said Friday that, "In an effort to minimize unnecessary contact with the public in order to limit our officers from being exposed to Covid-19 [sic]," the South Portland Police Dept. is encouraging people to use the online reporting system for non-violent crimes such as theft, criminal mischief, identity theft, and other property crimes. 

Brunswick Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 1718 says they're also taking measures to keep them and their community safe. 

In a Facebook post, they said, "Our Chiefs are working to keep us up to date on the best practices for approaching and treating patients who may be presenting with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If you see us dressed up like this, we are working to keep ourselves and our families safe, while still providing care to our citizens. Thank you for your support and patience."

NEWS CENTER Maine will update this story.

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