Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris has announced temporary changes to Kirkland Police Department (KPD) protocol to protect officer and community health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 16, the city announced that the front counter at the Kirkland Justice Center would be closed to the public. Community members can still access an officer by using the blue phone located outside the front door to contact dispatch.
According to a press release, the department has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new concealed pistol licensing applications.
On March 20, KPD announced these additional steps to help keep officers and community members safe:
Community members are encouraged to file police reports for not-in-progress crimes using the online reporting system at tinyurl.com/t89qjpa.
Officers may be utilizing the phone to respond to calls for crimes that are not in-progress. This may require additional flexibility and creativity, such as photos and witness statements being shared via email or phone, the release states.
Officers will be limiting contact, as much as possible, in cases where there is no immediate threat to the safety of the caller, or other individuals involved.
Officers will always respond in-person to emergency calls, serious in-progress felonies, any calls involving life safety and to injury or blocking traffic accidents. These temporary changes are to protect the safety of officers and the community, according to the release. Limiting officers’ potential exposure to COVID-19 helps ensure that KPD continues to have adequate coverage for the community.
“I realize that these temporary changes will feel out of the ordinary for community members and for our officers,” Harris said in the release. “These are unprecedented times that call for a different approach to keeping our community safe. Rest assured that we will still be there for you when you need us most. We appreciate the public’s understanding as we work to get through this challenging situation together.”
Community members are encouraged to continue to utilize 911 for emergency and in-progress situations. For more information about online reporting, visit the city of Kirkland’s website.