Farmington Public Safety (FPS) Director Frank Demers says residents have offered “overwhelming support” and worked well with Executive Orders related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
As of last week, the department had not issued any tickets related to the “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” order, which prohibits all but essential work and orders residents to stay home, except for urgent needs. Violation is a misdemeanor, and the state recently raised the penalty to $1,000.
Demers said enforcement will be reserved for habitual offenders.
“We will take more of an educate-the-individual approach,” he said. “We’re banking on the fact that our community is being very receptive of it… I applaud the community for clearly taking this seriously.”
COVID-19 has forced changes in how the department operates, Demers said. FPS has implemented an online crime reporting system for a limited list of complaints and offenses. Officers still respond to all calls, while maintaining social distancing.
During medical calls, they conduct an initial screen for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
“We send one officer in, while the other waits outside,” Demers said. “The officer who goes inside has full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).“
Medical equipment stays outside until retrieved by the officer who enters the home, to prevent unnecessary contamination. The changes, Demers said, are based on Oakland County protocols.
Demers said the department has received “overwhelming support,” from people offering to buy lunches to donations of protective equipment. The Farmington Hills Fire Department has assisted with sanitizing FPS headquarters and vehicles, while Korner Barbers in downtown Farmington loaned an ultraviolet sanitizer for smaller items.
“Fortunately, we’re doing well,” Demers said. “The community has been fantastic.”