Responders taking precautions but still serving the public

Local law enforcement is scaling back some of its “non-essential” services, but otherwise is continuing its duties in maintaining law and order during these COVID-19 days.
Yuma Police Chief Jerry Thompson said the Yuma Police Department is encouraging citizens to file reports by telephone when possible in order to minimize their in-person contact. When there is in-person contact, officers may ask people to step outside to talk, or take other precautions.
Chief Thompson stressed that the YPD is still responding to calls for service and patrolling as normal. However, the calls that can be handled over the phone will be handled that way to limit face-to-face contact.

Officers have been given personal protective equipment and protocols to follow if they happen to come in contact with someone with flu-like symptoms. The chief added that the lobby is disinfected daily, with the help of City of Yuma staffers.
However, the YPD currently is not responding to certain non-emergent calls. That includes non-injury traffic accidents that occur on private property. Those accidents can be reported online at
YPD also is not responding for the time being to dog-at-large issues (unless it involves a vicious dog), VIN inspections, fingerprints, and civil standbys (unless it is court ordered).
The police department also asks that people make reports by using the non-emergency number 848-5441, but still call 911 for emergencies.
Chief Thompson also noted that when one does call into dispatch for emergency services, the dispatcher may ask if you or anyone in the house is having flu-like symptoms.
“We ask that you cooperate with the dispatcher as they too are looking out for the safety and security of emergency responders and the community alike,” Thompson wrote. “…While it is a difficult time, our resilient community will get through this together.”
Yuma County Sheriff Todd Combs had a similar report, saying his office will try to handle more calls for service over the phone when possible, and limit walk-in traffic. The YCSO still will respond to victim crimes.
It also is trying to do as many court and jail proceedings by video as possible.
The sheriff announced last week that the office will not be charging late fees on concealed weapon permits that expire in the near future, is the owners do no come to fulfill the required paperwork.

The Yuma Ambulance Service is wearing extra protective gear when going on calls, approaching patients with masks on, gowns, and face shields as the situation dictates. While maybe intimidating, the steps are being taken to protect patients, as well as the providers. The ambulance service reports, like other agencies throughout the United States, it is in short supply of some personal protective equipment. The department is working with the Northeast Colorado Health Department, and is hopeful some additional supplies will arrive soon.
The extra questions being asked when one calls 911 help responders to determine what personal protective equipment is necessary to protect themselves appropriately so that they are able to best care for their patients.
The Yuma Ambulance Service also reported that “The biggest addition to our protocols will be a sort of telehealth measure. Viaero Wireless donated an iPad to the Ambulance Service and we are coordinating with Yuma District Hospital and Clinics to be able to, on certain occasions, contact on-call physicians and be able to consult face-to-face to determine the best plan of care for our patients.
“We encourage the community to ensure they are getting their information from reputable sources such as the CDC, the World Health Organization and the state and local Health Departments. As difficult as it seems now, please continue to practice social distancing and social isolation measures. It is very important that we all do our part to try and slow the spread of COVID 19. A rapid influx of patients will quickly overwhelm our healthcare system.”