SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WJW)– The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many industries and organizations are operating on a day-to-day basis. Public services, like police departments, also have temporary changes to protect themselves and the public.
South Euclid Officer Joe DiLillo showed us department-issued goggles, gloves and mask, which are crucial items officers added to their everyday work as they adjust to doing their job under new safety measures.
“I love nothing more than to talk to citizens and shake their hand, but unfortunately, this pandemic is requiring us to do things like social distancing and taking reports over the phone,” DiLillo said.
He said people can still file reports at the department, where they have always been separated by a glass window.
South Euclid officers are also no longer responding to non-essential service calls like vehicle lock-outs. Instead, they will help connect you with another service that can help.
“The one stipulation would be if we believe that being locked out of your car would provide a danger to somebody in the car,” DiLillo said.
DiLillo said people have been asking questions about how the stay-at-home order is being enforced.
“While we’re not looking to hammer people by any means, but we are doing what’s necessary to keep the public safe,” he said.
He recalled an incident a few days ago, where he had to ask a group of people who were playing basketball on private property to leave.
“Most of the individuals said they completely understood, they didn’t want to have an issue or any problems. We had one issue with an adult male who said flat out, I’m not leaving, I’m not leaving,” he said.
That person was charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. But overall, DiLillo said people are being safe in South Euclid.
“You don’t see large amounts of house parties, a lot of people gathering. You just don’t see it. It feels like people are doing what they need to do.”
While some of their protocols are changing, South Euclid police want the community to know they are still here and will be there if and when needed.
If you are in any kind of situation where there is harm to yourself or others or if you see a crime being committed, they are still there to do their job.
“Our number one concern is the safety and wellbeing of our residents period. If you believe that something may happen — call us,” DiLillo said.
While they understand the demand for personal protective equipment like masks and wipes, they are welcoming donations if anyone has a surplus or is in a position to do so.
If you want to donate you can call Officer DiLillo at 216-381-1234 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.