John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Newtown Police Operating “Routinely” During COVID-19 Restrictions

Newtown Police Operating “Routinely” During COVID-19 Restrictions

According to the latest Newtown Township Press Release, the Newtown Township Police Department is operating “routinely” during the current coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully certain precautions are being taken to protect police officers who interact with the public on a daily basis.

The March 20-26, 2020, weekly call report from the Newtown Police Dept shows that officers responded to 261 calls for service that week versus an average of 364 per week from 9 Jan 2020 through 12 Mar 2020 – a drop of 28% (see chart). As noted in the report this is due to “COVID-19 restrictions” - mostly regarding traffic citations.

I noticed two interesting items in the latest weekly call report that I have not seen before:

  • 12 Foot Patrol Reports, and
  • 0 Traffic Citations! (compared to 44 for the week ending 3/12)

Police chief John Hearn noted that with the limited traffic there were no observed traffic violations, “which is a good thing,” said the Chief. “Any significant violations observed however will still be addressed. We still encourage everyone unless essential personnel to stay home so that we can prevent this virus from spreading further, protecting our loved ones, limiting serious illness and related deaths, so that we can get back to some type of normalcy.”

Regarding foot patrols, the Chief noted that when time and staffing permits, the Department has officers conduct foot patrols – normally within business districts.

“With the pandemic, the officers were instructed to conduct checks of business facilities/strip malls while most are closed, to prevent burglaries and they were also advised to check religious institutions for vandalism in light of the holy season.”

In 2019, the Newtown Police Department documented 630 foot patrols (aka, “Proactive Patrols”). So far, for 2020, there have been 130 such patrols.

The Chief reminds residents that all NON-EMERGENCY Police requests for an officer to respond should be made by phone call to 215-328-8524.

We are all aware that hundreds of New York City police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one has died as a result. I hope, therefore, that Newtown residents obey stay home while our police officers are “routinely” at work for us.

UPDATE (10 April 2020): The April 3-8, 2020, weekly call report from the Newtown Police Dept shows that officers responded to 222 calls for service that week versus an average of 364 per week from 9 Jan 2020 through 12 Mar 2020 – a drop of 39% (see chart).

UPDATE (23 April 2020): The April 17-23, 2020, weekly call report from the Newtown Police Dept shows that officers responded to 224 calls for service that week. There were 0 Traffic Citations and 0 Traffic Details that week (see chart). There were several calls regarding theft from vehicles. According to the report: "Many of these crimes have been occurring throughout Bucks County in the early morning hours. We are asking commercial delivery drivers, newspaper delivery personnel and early morning risers to pay attention and immediately report ANY suspicious activity. AS ALWAYS, WE REMIND EVERYONE TO PLEASE REMOVE ALL VALUABLES AND LOCK YOUR CARS!" Several other cases involved fraud.

UPDATE (21 May 2020): The May 15-21, 2020, weekly call report from the Newtown Police Dept shows that officers responded to 376 calls for service that week, which is back to the normal, pre-COVID-19 range. There were 20 Traffic Citations and 29 Traffic Details that week (see chart). Scams were rampant. Some advice: Be alert to the fact that scams exist. When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam.

Posted on 30 Mar 2020, 10:30 - Category: First Responders

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