MICHIGAN CITY — The Michigan City Police Department is enacting some temporary changes to daily operations, Chief Dion Campbell announced late Tuesday.

“We are living in unprecedented times that require us to do things that we have never done before,” Campbell said. “As we navigate the front lines of a global pandemic, it is necessary to take precautions for all staff.”

Campbell said the changes, including asking the public to avoid the station except for emergencies, are needed “to continue to provide quality services to Michigan City residents, but also with an emphasis on protecting the well-being of our valuable employees.”

Some non-essential employees will be provided with laptops and other essential items to perform their duties remotely.

“These protocols will take effect immediately and will continue until the COVID-19 situation is reevaluated on or before March 30,” according to department spokesman Sgt. Francisco Rodriguez.

This will include Records Division employees, who will still be able to monitor emails and telephone calls, he said. However, Records Clerks will be working remotely and will not be at the department.

“Due to this, we will not be processing handgun permits or city dog tags until further notice,” Rodriguez said.

“Other records requests that can be completed without interacting with the public will be processed as normal; however, the response times to certain requests could be extended.

Anyone with records requests or questions can contact Records Clerks by calling 219-874-3221, ext. 1021 or 1022. Leave a detailed voice message, contact phone number and/or email address, so they can return your call as soon as possible, he said.

“We would encourage members of the public to refrain from entering the police station to visit the Records Division as the window will be closed and no employees will be present to accommodate your requests,” Rodriguez said.

Animal Control Officers will also be working remotely, away from the police station, and will respond as needed to emergency calls only, Rodriguez said.

During this time, Animal Control will also not be citing residents for failing to possess city dog tags, since MCPD will not be processing them, he said.

Anyone with an exigent animal control issue should contact MCPD at 219-874-3221 so the situation can be assessed by the on-duty patrol commander.

Once assessed and approved, an animal control officer and/or police officer will be dispatched, Rodriguez said. If you have animal control-related questions and/or complaints, call 219-874-3221, ext. 1030 or 1031, and leave a detailed message, contact number and/or email address.

The department had previously announced that the building’s restrooms will be off limits to the public.

Campbell called the measures necessary, but said the police will continue to serve.

“We will remain resolute in our commitment to provide leadership and direction for all citizens of Michigan City while considering our personal safety,” the chief said.

“The safety of every MCPD employee is a priority. We owe it to ourselves and our families to implement safety measures while effectively servicing our community.”

Campbell emphasized that there will be no interruption of police services to the community.

“We will continue to be here to answer any phone calls or messages sent via Facebook. Everyone here at MCPD hopes that everyone adheres to the CDC Protocols that have been outlined over the past several days.

“Please stay safe and civil during this unprecedented time.”

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