Over the past few weeks, the president and our governor have made emergency declarations, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the Town of Ocean View and the Ocean View Police Department has implemented procedures to safeguard our citizens and staff and to ensure we continue to provide the high level of public safety our community deserves and depends on.

To limit contact with the public amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the police department temporarily suspended its volunteer program and has restricted access to the police building. People wishing to speak to an officer should call the non-emergency number 539-1111.

Never one to miss an opportunity, criminals, especially sophisticated cyber-criminals, are taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. All citizens are urged to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious activity to the police by calling 911. Avoid answering robocalls or responding to text messages or emails claiming to be from the CDC or the government. Refrain from purchasing online vaccinations or home test kits. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Partnerships between local law-enforcement agencies can strengthen and help sustain efforts to maintain critical public safety services during an emergency. I am happy to report that the much talked about Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ocean View and South Bethany police departments recently received approval by both Towns and is now in effect. South Bethany Police Chief Jason Lovins and I have developed contingency plans to assure that both towns maintain uninterrupted police services for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

I ask all members of the public to follow the restrictions and guidelines established by federal and state authorities, and practice good hygiene and social distancing. Please check on those who are isolated or have difficulty caring for themselves.

Medical facilities in Sussex County are limited and easily overwhelmed. Persons from out of state planning to come to Ocean View are encouraged to stay home until the threat passes. If you have recently arrived in Ocean View from a state or country that has experienced an outbreak of COVID-19, you are encouraged to self-quarantine.

Finally, I want to reassure you that the men and women of the Ocean View Police Department will continue to provide police services at the highest level during this emergency. Thank you for your help in containing and slowing the spread of COVID-19.