Local law enforcement is ramping up visibility in communities in efforts to protect local businesses who have been shut down due to the coronavirus.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and South Lake Tahoe Police Department both said more officers will be on patrol.
“It is the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office priority to provide a continued partnership with our community and enhance the quality of security for all,” Sheriff Dan Coverley said Wednesday. “Conducting business checks and visibly increasing patrol presence is our first frontline effort to providing overall safety for businesses during this difficult time. Rest assured DCSO will be working around the clock with our business community in mind.”
Coverley said his office is asking people to be mindful and please be advised to practice caution when participating in outdoor activities.
“We understand that a lot of people are participating in outdoor recreation in response to this isolation period, and we encourage it, but ask you to do it safely,” Coverley said. “Many of our resources are being dedicated to the COVID-19 response and keeping people and businesses safe, now is not the time to travel off into a potentially unsafe area.”
Coverley asked that residents do not participate in high-risk situations that might lead one off the beaten path as resources are being used to maximum level.
South Lake Tahoe is taking similar measures to increase safety.
Police Lt. Shannon Laney said the department has increased patrol at night with a focus on business checks.
“As people become more desperate, we expect to see an increase in business crimes,” Laney said.
He also said the department is be cognizant of the DMV being closed and is being understanding of recent license or registration expirations. “We are understanding of everything, everyone is going through,” Laney said.
The department is increasing the number of reports they’ll take over the phone and are encouraging people to use the online reporting system as much as possible. They’ve also closed the lobby to the public unless someone calls ahead and because of the small size of the lobby, only one person is allowed in the lobby at a time.
Mostly importantly, Laney wants to remind people that despite closures across the city, the PD is still out there working and protecting.
Some tips for safe outdoor recreation are:
Stay on marked trails
Participate in activities with another person (6 feet apart) so you aren’t alone in an emergency
Know your limits and plan your outdoor activity level accordingly
Carry a basic first-aid kit with you
Use protective gear
Be alert for slippery areas
Don’t mix alcohol and outdoor rec