The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Police Department is implementing a new policy where accused criminals deemed “non-violent” will be quickly released after their arrests in light of the coronavirus crisis, Breitbart reports.
Police officials confirmed to CBS Philadelphia that accused criminals charged with non-violent crimes will be processed and released so as not to fill up city jails. Police officials said those accused criminals considered to be violent will not be released.
Police officials said in a statement:
It should be noted that if a police officer believes that releasing an individual would pose a threat to public safety, the officer will notify a supervisor, who will review the totality of the circumstances, and in the interest of public safety, utilize discretion in determining the appropriate course of action.
Clarification of PPD's temporary response model in light of Covid-19 pic.twitter.com/8eMiUb17qD
— Danielle M. Outlaw (@PPDCommish) March 18, 2020
It is not just Philly that is experiencing this from Police Departments, in truth, there are way too many to list that are putting in some form of the same responses. It makes sense that with what is on the horizon LEO could be very busy with violent offenders. There is no need to even keep our prisons filled with non violent offenses and some are actually releasing these non violent people that they deem worthy of early release.
For instance in Texas the Austin Police Department (APD) is changing its protocols as efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic ramp up.
KVUE News reports that Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said he is putting new restrictions in place for officers to respond to the coronavirus threat but said they will still enforce the law during this time. The chief said it’s important that officers strike a balance between keeping Austin safe, their own personal safety and not potentially spreading the virus.
“In an effort to maximize the safety of our community and workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Austin Police Department will immediately implement the operational changes outlined below. These changes 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. It is important to note that we are not amending our response to critical calls where life or safety is jeopardized. We will continue to monitor these changes and update them as necessary.”
- There will be no change to our most serious calls for service where life and property is at immediate risk. For our lower priority calls, APD will increase our use of online or over the phone reporting. APD will no longer send an officer/civilian to calls that can be addressed through online or phone reporting, including property crime technicians.
- For those wanting/needing to make an online report, utilize the city website at https://www.austintexas.gov/service/file-police-reports-online
- APD will no longer respond to crashes where there is no injury and all vehicles are drivable.
- APD will continue traffic enforcement for hazardous violations; however enforcement for non-hazardous violations is at the officer’s discretion, but generally discouraged.
- APD has secured the lobby in our Police Headquarters and restricted access at sub-stations to prevent unnecessary contact. Phones will be provided for those visiting, and admission to the facility will be allowed for those with a need.
- APD will amend our sex offender check-in operations. Offenders who are newly released to our community will still be processed and registered so we have their information in our system. Currently registered offenders who come to APD to conduct their check-in will confirm that the information we have 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.
- We are suspending in-person report sales. For those needing to obtain a copy of a report, please follow the instructions found at https://www.austintexas.gov/faq/how-do-i-obtain-police-report
- We are suspending public fingerprinting services.
At some point the people need to realize that Law Enforcement are doing the best they can during this as well and we need to do our part to ease their burdens and protect our own.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune