March 31, 2020

MEDIA RELEASE: SCPD to Proactively Enforce State and Santa Cruz County Public Health Orders


Following a state and public health order issued to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across California, Police Chief Andrew Mills outlines what it means for the City of Santa Cruz's residents and businesses.

The Santa Cruz Police will seek out businesses that appear to violate this Public Health Order and individuals who are grouping. Generally, SCPD issues warnings. If compliance not achieved, a criminal citation will be issued. We do not take this enforcement stance lightly. The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious community health threat, and the Public Health Order is enforceable.

The Santa Cruz Police Department's (SCPD) primary role in supporting the governor's stay at home order is to help educate the community about how to comply. Most residents are following the "Safer at Home" order, which allows essential businesses and critical public functions to remain open, but directs most other people to stay home and avoid gatherings.

Non-essential businesses that remain open and individuals who gather in groups place the community-at-large at risk. "Ideally, we would prefer to gain the public's cooperation and avoid unnecessary enforcement," said Chief Mills. If we work together, we will accomplish the goal of keeping our community safe. "

In response to mandates and to better protect closed local businesses, the Santa Cruz Police Department officers check on businesses to educate and ensure compliance. SCPD also deployed burglary suppression units to increase patrols, particularly during nighttime shifts.

Chief Andy Mills - "Our command strategy is to implement 12-hour shifts to enhance officer availability. The added patrols increase the nighttime staffing numbers and will concentrate on retail and commercial areas of the City while responding to all calls for service.

Chief Mills addresses those individuals who may be thinking and planning on taking advantage of our hardworking community members who had to close down their shops or suspend services. We are working with the District Attorney to ensure criminals are held accountable during this state of emergency.

While the Santa Cruz Police Department is increasing our nighttime visibility in business and commercial districts, we ask business owners to help by:

· Keep your business lit at night, inside and out.

· Keep windows uncovered and free of obstruction.

· Make sure alarms, and video surveillance systems are working correctly and contact SCPD immediately regarding any suspicious activity.

· Empty cash registers and make it evident to others that they are empty by leaving them open with the drawers removed.

"Public health and safety remain paramount, and we ask residents to stay informed and follow the emergency measures outlined by the state and the City," said Chief Mills.

For information regarding COVID-19 cases and directives from Santa Cruz County Public Health officials, please visit http://www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus.

For the latest information about the COVID-19 virus, updates on the City's operations, and our response to COVID-19, visit http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/coronavirus.

March 24, 2020

COVID 19 Santa Cruz Responds: Mass Gatherings

Mass Gatherings Dangerous for Health of Our Community

The situation photographed yesterday of people at the clock tower for a rally is being addressed.

Gathering in large groups is reckless, irresponsible, and is a crime SCPD will enforce.

Chief Mills shares details here: https://chiefmills.com/…/03/24/covid-19-santa-cruz-responds/

#COVID19 #CommonSense #SocialDistancing

March 18, 2020

The More You Know... Enforcement of Shelter in Place Order -Essential Services - Connect to #COVID-19 Info

SCPD reiterates that the current Shelter at Home order IS IN EFFECT. The County Health Officer issued the mandate requiring people to stay home except for essential needs. It is not a recommendation; it is a directive.
SCPD, along with all county, law enforcement agencies, will be taking a practical approach to the enforcement of this order by focusing on education and awareness of the regulations surrounding the order to obtain voluntary compliance.

Officers will contact local businesses to give direction and anticipate voluntary compliance from community members. The order is enforceable under California Health and Safety Code 120295. Businesses that do not provide "essential" services are required to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the safety of their workers and the public.
     

Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills said that officers would be looking to educate people, not to make arrests. "Law enforcement is the last resort to obtain compliance; however, the public must understand the dire consequences. We intend to adhere to the goal of keeping people safe."


This the situation is unprecedented, and unlike anything, we've experienced before. The City of Santa Cruz's highest priority is the health and safety of our community. Maintaining law and order is the Santa Police Department's focus, and we are prepared and staffed to provide essential public safety services.

While we appreciate your confidence in our Department, all virus related questions should be directed to 2-1-1, or text coronavirus to 211211, or visit www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus and NOT to our Dispatchers.

We ask that the public NOT to call 9-1-1 to report potential County Order violations. Instead, call the non-emergency line 831-471-1131, Visit www.santacruzpolice.com to file a report online so that our Dispatchers may continue to handle emergency calls. Anonymous callers can leave a message on the Crime Tip Line voicemail at 831-420-5995.

The Santa Cruz County Public Health Department has also created a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the County Order visit www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus.

For more information and updates on how the City of Santa Cruz is monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019, visit our website at www.cityofsantacruz.com/coronavirus to stay informed. General updates also posted to SCPD, SCFD, and City of Santa Cruz social media accounts.

Shelter In Place - The BASICS: All community members should stay home except to:

- Perform essential duties for business continuity or government functions
- To get food
- Care for a relative or friend
- Get necessary health care
- Or, perform activities related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time.

Vulnerable populations-especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions-must stay home.

It is OK to go outside for walks if you are not in a group and practice proper social distancing.

Essential services and places will remain open, such as:

- City/County government services (i.e., Police, Fire, Utility Companies, Transportation)
- Gas Stations
- Pharmacies
- Places to get food/drinks (Grocery stores, Food banks, convenience stores, takeout & delivery restaurants)
- Banks
- Laundromats
- Cemeteries
- Hardware stores/plumbers/electricians and those who provide necessary goods & services for residences.

March 16, 2020

MEDIA RELEASE: Santa Cruz Police Make Operational Adjustments In Response To COVID-19

As part of a continued, proactive approach towards slowing the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) implements the following preventative operational protocols.

For SCPD to continue to provide the highest level of safety and service and preserve the health of both police personnel and members of the community, the front lobby of the Santa Cruz Police Department is closed until further notice. "We are implementing the following safety measures and we ask that our community members abide to help protect our police officers and support personnel, so they, in turn, can continue to work hard to protect you," said Chief Mills.

The safety and well-being of our personnel are paramount and necessary to continue to provide emergency services for the community. Therefore, we are temporarily adopting response measures to help ensure everyone's health.
  • All requests to obtain police reports can be made via phone ONLY. You can call Records at 831-420-5870.
  • Officers may ask to speak with complainants outdoors when possible. We will try and keep a distance of 5-6 feet.
  • Officers will have the discretion to handle some complaints by phone.
  • Some thefts, frauds, or minor incidents (that are not in progress) may be triage over the phone and determined if an additional in-person response is needed.
  • Written statements can be emailed to officers.
  • Individuals who are 290 registrants and required by law to check-in with law enforcement.
  • Property Release hours are Tuesdays 11 am - 3 pm and Thursday 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

If you require police assistance while at the SCPD building, utilize the intercom phone located next to the main entrance doors to speak with a dispatch operator.

If you can avoid having to summon a police officer, please do so. If your issue can wait, then please hold until this health crisis is over.

If calling for police services while experiencing flu-like symptoms, fever, or respiratory distress, please notify the dispatch operators, so first responders can take any necessary safety precautions before their arrival.

As a reminder, you can file many crime reports online, and we encourage citizens to utilize the online reporting system. General business items will postpone until the immediacy of this crisis subsides.

We apologize for any inconvenience these adjustments may cause. You can support our police, rangers, community service officers, and professional staff by following the above guidelines.

For emergencies, dial 9-1-1. Non-emergency incidents, call 831-471-1131, Visit www.santacruzpolice.com to file a report online.

SCPD remains committed to ensuring the safety of our community while also being mindful of this quickly evolving health crisis.

March 13, 2020

MEDIA RELEASE: Joint Statement from the Santa Cruz Police and Fire Department Regarding COVID-19

SCPD and SCFD are working with our city, county, state, and federal partners to provide you with the most up-to-date information as it pertains to the #Coronavirus.

As COVID-19 continues to spread in our community, residents of the City of Santa Cruz can be assured public safety agencies have thoroughly prepared to address issues as they arise and have thoughtfully prepared contingency plans to manage the potential exponential growth of this disease. Police, Fire, and EMS are diligently working together, and are in constant communication with the County Department of Public Health, the City Manager’s Office, and our colleagues throughout the county and state. We are prepared to continue to respond to calls for police and fire services, as well as managing the effect of COVID-19 within Santa Cruz.

As we prepare operational plans, we are mindful that COVID-19 will disproportionately and adversely impact our front line operations personnel. We must protect them from exposure to provide continued service to the community. The very nature of their job dictates that they interact with people who have compromised immune systems or are actively sick with COVID-19. To minimize exposure to our personnel, and to the public, we have implemented the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), thorough decontamination protocols, and triage of calls to maintain the ability to respond for the most serious of incidents.

Finally, should multiple officers and firefighters become exposed and quarantined, our remaining dedicated staff is prepared to work. Plans for maintaining staffing to provide the most critical of our public safety missions are in place. Staffing may be adjusted, and response modified, but rest assured we will respond to aid those in need and to maintain law and order.

Andrew G. Mills, Chief of Police | Jason Hajduk, Fire Chief

Santa Cruz County residents are strongly urged to take measures to protect themselves, their families, and their community. For local information, residents may visit www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus,  call 211 or text “coronavirus” to 211211.

For the latest information on coronavirus in California, http://cdph.ca.gov/covid19

March 9, 2020

Town Hall Meetings Postponed Due to COVID-19 Concerns

The Town Hall meetings scheduled for this week on March 9, 11, and 12 are postponed. The Santa Cruz Police Department is continuously monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and determined it is prudent to defer the meetings. The decision to cancel was based on the latest update from the Santa Cruz County Health Department.

We recognize that the timing of this decision has inconvenienced many of you. However, this decision was made out of deep concern for the community.

Santa Cruz Police Department will be rescheduling the meetings at a future date.

March 8, 2020

March 9 TOWN HALL MEETING - Precautions Due To COVID-19

The Monday, March 9th Town Hall Meeting will move forward as planned at Delaveaga Elementary School on 1145 Morrissey Blvd from 6:00 - 7:30 pm. 
While COVID-19 represents a severe public health threat at this time, the risk to Santa Cruz County residents remains low. As a precaution, the elderly and those with respiratory issues susceptible to the coronavirus should stay away. We request community members who are sick not to attend.

Santa Cruz Police Department is closely monitoring the Santa Cruz County Public Health Department updates and will make adjustments as needed.

Law Enforcement Prepared for Coronavirus Spread
Local county police chiefs and sheriffs met in preparation for contingency plans should a worst-case coronavirus scenario outbreak continue. Officers are instructed on and equipped for dealing with potential coronavirus cases.

COVID-19 Precautions
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
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To learn more about the proposed ordinances, including the opportunity to leave comments, questions, and suggestions, visit www.cityofsantacruz.com/PoliceTownHall.