Public/Global Health

Police nationwide ask criminals to halt activity during coronavirus outbreak

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Several police departments across the country are asking criminals in tongue-in-cheek social media posts to stop illegal activity during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Police in Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Utah and Washington have called on criminals to take a break to allow officers to respond to coronavirus-related issues.

The Salt Lake City Police Department, for example, requested in a post on Facebook last week that “all criminal activities/nefarious behavior to cease until further notice.”

We appreciate your anticipated cooperation in halting crime & thank criminals in advance,” the department said. “We will let you know when you can return to your normal criminal behavior.”

The Puyallup Police Department in Washington state, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, made its request to criminals on Monday, saying: “We will let you know when you can resume your normal behavior.”

The Blaine Police Department, also in Washington state, followed suit in a Facebook post, also promising on Monday to “certainly” let criminals know when they can go back to committing illegal acts.

In Colorado, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office issued a similar call for criminal activities to “cease until further notice,” while thanking criminals “in advance.”

The departments’ requests have appeared online since at least the beginning of the month. 

On March 9, the Kenosha Police Department in Wisconsin made the “decision … to cancel all crime.”

“We are unsure when this ban will be lifted,” the department said in a Facebook post. “We ask anyone who was planning to commit any crimes to please stay home for their safety.”

Authorities also requested those who have information on “someone planning to disobey this cancellation to contact Crime Stoppers.” 

Meanwhile, the Struthers Police Department in Ohio and the Powell County Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky posted their requests on March 12, with both saying they will update criminals “when we deem it’s appropriate to proceed with yo bad selves.”

A police department in Oregon also asked residents to stop calling 911 because they ran out of toilet paper. 

“It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance,” the Newport Police Department posted on Facebook Saturday.

Police departments in Denver and Portland, Ore., also announced last week that they would be reducing in-person responses during the outbreak to limit community spread, adding they would still respond to emergencies, according to local reports.

The coronavirus has so far infected more than 4,600 people in the U.S., resulting in 85 deaths and 17 recoveries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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