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Apopka Police Department’s response to COVID-19


From Chief of Police Mike McKinley, Apopka Police Department

As we deal with these unprecedented and challenging times, the men and women of the Apopka Police Department remain committed to protecting our community.

The current situation we find ourselves in is different than anything we have faced in our careers, however law enforcement’s ability to work together and adapt to the challenges we face will get us and our community through these trying times.

As a result of the Covid-19 concerns, the Apopka Police Department is continually adjusting the way we do business to protect our personnel and our community. Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the police department has implemented the following changes:

Our communications center continues to screen calls for service by asking the caller the following questions:

Is any individual on the scene experiencing any of the following symptoms?

    • Measured body temperature > 100.4 F (38C)
    • Fever (hot to the touch in room temperature)
    • Chills
    • Unusual sweat
    • Unusual whole-body aches
    • Headache
    • Breathing or shortness of breath
    • Nasal congestion
    • Persistent cough
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Diarrhea

If any of the individuals on scene are experiencing any of these symptoms, the telecommunicator is asking the caller if the individual has traveled to any of the States experiencing large outbreaks of COVID-19, such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Officers are also encouraged to ask additional questions that may be relevant when they arrive on scene.

Our telecommunicators are requesting that callers meet our officers outside when they arrive on scene.

Sworn Personnel have been informed to practice the following guidelines to help protect themselves from exposure:

  • When possible, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
  • When possible, remain outside when handling a call for service. When practical they are interviewing victims, witnesses, and suspects outside. If they are not able to take report information or conduct an interview outside or in a large open area they will take appropriate precautions, such as social distancing, to protect themselves.
  • Practice proper hand hygiene.
  • Do not touch their face with unwashed hands.
  • If the call for service is strictly a medical matter and there is not life-threatening event occurring, they will allow the Fire Department to handle the situation.
  • Have a trained Emergency Medical Service/Emergency Medical Technician (EMS/EMT) assess and transport anyone they think might have COVID-19 to a healthcare facility.
  • Ensure only trained personnel wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) have contact with individuals who have or may have COVID-19.

If our personnel transport someone who is ill or is suspected of having COVID-19, the Apopka Fire Department and Advent Health Apopka have specialized equipment to decontaminate our patrol vehicles and equipment following a suspected COVID-19 incident.

We have instituted an alternative call for service plan in an attempt to limit the number of contacts our personnel have with individuals. Until further notice, supervisory personnel and officers are screening calls for service to determine those calls that can be handled over the phone. Examples of calls that citizens may hear back from an officer via a phone call will be nonviolent incidents that are over with such as fraud, theft, vandalism, etc. Supervisors will continually review the information provided by the caller to determine if a physical response is needed. Incident reports will still be written, when needed, and follow-up investigations will still occur.

Additionally, to promote social distancing, sergeants are briefing their patrol officers utilizing technology. This prevents officers from having to respond to the police department and brief as a group.

The Apopka Police Department has suspended fingerprinting until further notice and the lobby to the police department is closed. Anyone who arrives at the police department needing assistance there is information affixed to the front door that provides them with the number to the records unit. This will allow our records personnel to handle the individuals needs over the phone. If someone arrives at the police department and needs to meet with a police officer there is a phone to the right of the lobby doors that will connect them with our communications center.

As we face these challenging times, the men and women of the Apopka Police Department remain committed to the safety of our community through proactive patrols and continued response to in-progress criminal activity. As always, if you have an emergency situation call 911. If you have a non-emergency situation call the non-emergency number 407-703-1757.

Apopka Police Department, Chief McKinley, COVID-19


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