In light of the unique and challenging circumstances facing our community and our nation as a whole, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to you about how our officers are working to safeguard our city and to continue our community policing efforts while protecting themselves and you from the coronavirus.
Foremost, Camden County Police Department officers will continue to patrol our city’s neighborhoods, proactively address crime and public safety issues and respond to calls for assistance from residents. However, to do all we can to prevent the spread of this virus and to keep residents and officers safe, some new safety measures are being implemented.
First, residents who call police for non-emergencies will be asked the following questions in addition to specific questions about the nature of the call:
1) Have you experienced a fever, body aches, coughing or flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days?
2) Have you had contact with anyone who has exhibited the above symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19?
Asking these questions allows first responders — police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel – to take proper precautions when responding to any scene.
Secondly, when our officers respond to a home or business on a non-emergent call for service, residents may be asked to meet with the officer outside rather than inside. Again, this is a safety precaution designed to follow the CDC’s social distancing recommendation of keeping six feet of distance to reduce the potential for any spread of the coronavirus.
Additionally, you will see an increased police presence at several of the primary grocery stores throughout the city. This is to ensure that these businesses and the areas around them are safe and can manage the flow of residents arriving to purchase essential items.
I want to assure all Camden residents during this unprecedented time that our officers are working very hard to protect our neighborhoods and to keep our city safe. The motto of our department, that our officers live and work by, is to put Service Before Self.
Now, more than ever before, the men and women of the Camden County Police Department are rising to the challenge of meeting that ideal as they serve and protect our city. These small but important changes will help keep everyone — officers and residents — safe while allowing us to continue in our public safety mission.
Thank you, and please be safe and stay informed about the latest recommendations from our federal, state and local governments and health agencies on how to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 and what to do if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Chief of Police
Camden County Police Department