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More changes at police departments due to COVID-19

Several police departments have changed their policies, including eliminating roll calls and in-person training.

GASTONIA, N.C. — Police departments across the Charlotte region are changing their policies after officers in other states contracted the coronavirus.

In the last week, both Gastonia Police and Gaston County Police have locked down their lobby and required visitors to be buzzed in for appointments.

Law enforcement sources tell WCNC Charlotte that COVID-19 forced Gastonia Police to make several changes to protect officers' health.

Among the changes, officers aren't executing as many search warrants and knock and talks as they did before the coronavirus.

Gaston County Police Chief Joseph Ramey said they've temporarily eliminated roll call, in-person training and meetings inside headquarters.

"It's two-fold: one is to protect the officers who are working and to protect citizens because we do come in contact with a lot of citizens," Chief Ramey said. "We don't want to be the conduit for transferring an illness."

Mecklenburg County's Fraternal Order of Police sent a letter to all law enforcement agencies in the county requesting assurance that every officer receives personal protective equipment.

The FOP also wanted agencies to consider a temporary hold on dispatching officers to non-emergency calls, which Gastonia Police started implementing last week.

However, all departments emphasized they will respond in-person to emergencies and violent crimes.


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