ACCPD Chief Cleveland Spruill

Athens-Clarke County Police Department Chief Cleveland Spruill announced changes to the department's policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo/Jason Born)

Athens-Clarke County Police Department officers will employ social distancing measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Chief Cleveland Spruill in a press release Sunday.

Police ask residents to contact the department by phone before visiting police stations in person for routine services. ACCPD also asks residents to report incidents through the department’s online reporting portal or telephone reporting unit.

Officers will continue to respond in-person to cases involving life safety or where other reporting methods are “unavailable or not feasible.”

According to Lt. John Radford, acting public information officer for ACCPD, the telephone reporting unit is currently being set up and will consist of desk and patrol officers. Residents can still reach the unit by calling into the dispatch center — 706-613-3330 — or the department’s non-emergency phone line — 706-613-3345.

Residents looking for live scan fingerprinting for background checks are asked to visit this website for locations that provide this service in the area.

“I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through this unprecedented situation,” Spruill said. “Our commitment is to taking appropriate action to protect the safety and the health of our members and the community that we serve.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed that three Athens residents were diagnosed with COVID-19 as of noon Tuesday. There are 146 confirmed cases of the disease in Georgia.

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