Many cities, townships, and counties in the U.S. are changing how they are responding to calls for service from citizens to decrease exposure to officers to COVID-19.
Cincinnati police are temporarily suspending in-person responses to certain 911 calls for service in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Police will no longer respond to assault reports, unless a suspect is still present or the victim requires medical attention, breaking and entering reports unless a suspect is still present, menacing reports "unless suspect is expected or threatens to return or is part of the elements of domestic violence" or theft reports "where there is no possibility of immediate apprehension."
Chicago Interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said he’s instructed officers to slow down the number of stops and arrests they make to reduce contact between citizens and police and slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Portland Police Bureau will reduce the number of calls that officers respond to in person. It will instead direct officers to use the phone to contact people who have reported some types of non-life-threatening crimes.
This is not to say your local LEOs won't respond to your 911 call now, but you should not count on the cavalry to arrive in time to save you. Average police response times in big U.S. cities can range from about five minutes to forever...
Not reassuring when you are in the middle of a life-and-death situation to know that slow police response times cannot prevent the carnage.
You are your own first responder.
You are your best back up.
Train now like your life depends on it.
1. Accept the reality of the situation and begin planning and training accordingly.
2. Commit to increasing your awareness of your surrounding environment and the environments in which you live, work, and travel.
3. Get First Aid training. At the minimum, seek out the Red Cross training for First Aid and CPR.
4. Get in shape. Strong people are harder to kill.
5. Get training in -- and practice -- basic hand-to-hand defense.
7. Commit to acting first to avoid, evade, and de-escalate.