Residents Encouraged to Sign up for Essex Regional Alerts
WENHAM — Chief of Police Thomas Perkins and Fire Chief Stephen Kavanagh, out of an abundance of caution, announce that the Wenham Police and Fire Departments will temporarily suspend non-emergency walk-in services in response to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic last week by the World Health Organization and has moved Governor Charlie Baker to declare a State of Emergency in Massachusetts and President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency.
In an effort to continue practicing social distancing strategies, effective
immediately, all citizens are being encouraged to make all non-emergency reports and inquiries to either department by telephone or email, rather than in person.
The Wenham Police Department can be reached at its business line at 978-468-4000 and the Wenham Fire Department can be reached at its business line at 978-468-5508.
Residents are additionally reminded to call 911 in an emergency, and police, firefighters and EMS will respond to various emergency situations as they normally would.
“We’re temporarily asking residents to call or email the Wenham Police and Fire Departments for non-emergency matters, in an effort to reduce the risk of this virus to staff and to the public,” Chief Perkins said. “We encourage residents to continue taking steps individually to prevent the spread of this virus as well, including frequent hand washing and covering your cough.”
Citizens who call the Wenham Regional Dispatch Center to request non-emergency services will be asked for their contact information and a police officer or firefighter will contact them accordingly.
This is a temporary measure. Officials said they do not know how long these restrictions will be in place.
Requests for copies of police and fire reports should be submitted electronically. Wenham Police report requests should be sent to Administrative Assistant Sue Hersee at [email protected] and Wenham Fire Department report requests should be sent to Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Baxter at [email protected].
First responders throughout the nation are practicing social distancing when responding to emergency calls. When responding to a call for service, first responders will ask residents to do the same, which entails keeping separated by approximately 6 feet if possible.
Police and firefighters have also been instructed not to shake hands or make any other personal contact unless absolutely necessary (or necessary during a life-threatening emergency or medical emergency) to avoid transmitting the virus.
The Wenham Police and Fire Departments are on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These temporary measures will be reviewed on a continuous basis. When changes are necessary, they will be communicated to the public.
Both departments also encourage residents to sign up for the Essex Regional Alerts System. Residents may sign up for regional alerts about topics such as the novel coronavirus situation or extreme weather by visiting the Town of Wenham website and clicking on the “Essex Regional Alerts” link at the bottom of the page.