Posted: March 24, 2020
The Punta Gorda Police Department is taking action to minimize the risk for both emergency personnel and the public as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. First responders make contact with many people through the day, respond to medical calls, and are at a much higher risk of infection than the general public. Not only is it important to minimize the risk to first responders in order to keep them available, but also to minimize the interactions they have with the public to avoid unintentional transmission to our most vulnerable population. Effective immediately the police department has enacted the following changes to our procedures:
- The public safety building lobby is open only for emergency situations or when other means of contact are not available. We ask that community members needing to make a non-emergency report call 941-639-4111 rather than coming to the police department. If possible, please call during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.) For emergencies, dial 9-1-1 anytime.
- Non-emergency reports that do not require an in-person officer response will be handled over the phone to eliminate unnecessary social contact.
- When an in-person officer response is necessary, officers will be asking that callers step outside to make the report whenever feasible. This will reduce the chances of transmitting illness. Officers will only enter residences and businesses when absolutely necessary.
- We will no longer be responding to certain public services such as VIN verifications. These can be completed by any licensed auto dealer, tax collector or FLHSMV employee, or notary public.
- We will no longer be responding to minor parking lot crashes. Florida allows most minor crashes to be self-reported either online or by mail. For more information and instructions, please visit www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports.
- The police department’s records unit window will be closed. Records requests can be made online by visiting www.pgpdrecords.com or by mailing your records request to PGPD Records Unit, 1410 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.
We appreciate all of the support we have received from the community and for everyone’s cooperation and understanding during this difficult time.