Virus update: Public Safety officials asking potential visitors to call-ahead instead

by beth on March 18, 2020

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An update on Monday by the Town told residents that only the lobby to the Public Safety Building lobby would be open to visitors. This afternoon, the Town issued new instructions limiting that access even further.

Some activities that the community normally pops-in for without an appointment are being curtailed. As with other Town departments, potential visitors are being asked to call ahead.

Here are the instructions from the Town’s latest notice:

The Southborough Police Department and Southborough Fire Department continue to monitor the COVID-19 Coronavirus, and are working closely with the Town Administrator, Superintendent of Schools, Emergency Management Director and local public health officials.

Public safety is our primary responsibility, and we will always respond immediately to 911 emergencies and urgent calls for service. In order to continue providing the best public safety services in the Town of Southborough and its citizens, the Police & Fire Departments will be limiting our face-to-face interactions when possible.

Officials are concerned with the health and well-being of our First Responders, as well as the public we serve. As this virus continues to spread, the main goal is to maintain a healthy police force and fire department to allow for the continuation of services without resorting to contingency plans.

Both the Southborough Police Department and the Southborough Fire Department, are curtailing walk-in services at the Public Safety Complex located at 32 Cordaville Road, Southborough, MA (as pertains to fingerprinting, soliciting registration, records requests, non-violent past offenses, medication drop-off, fire business, etc.).

We urge you to call ahead if you have any police or fire business.

The phone number for the Southborough Police Department is (508) 485-2121, and the website is https://www.southboroughtown.com/police-department. The phone number for the Fire Department is (508) 485-3232, and the website is https://www.southboroughtown.com/fire-department.

Records Requests: Please call or email the police department with your record requests. The Southborough Police Department’s Records Division consists of Lieutenant Ryan Newell- rnewell@southboroughma.com , and Chief Kenneth Paulhus- kpaulhus@southboroughma.com.

Fire Records Requests and General Inquiries: Please call or email Alicia Porter at (508) 485-3235 x 1 or pqe r south borough ma .com.

Fire Prevention and Inspection Inquiries: Please call or email Lieutenant Christian Dano at (508) 485-3235 x 2 or cdano@southboroughma.com

Firearms Licensing: We will not be accepting any New or Renewal LTC/FID Firearms applications at this time. If your License to Carry is going to expire in 30 days or less, please email Lt. Ryan Newell: rnewell@southhoroughma.com. You will receive an extension letter covering you during this hold period. For those that are renewing, most steps in the renewal process can be done online or through the mail.

Again, walk-in service for non-emergencies is being curtailed and we ask that you call the police or fire department instead. As a temporary change, non-emergency matters may be reported over the phone at (508) 485-2121, and an officer will be assigned to follow-up with you. This applies to a variety of less serious offenses that are NOT IN PROGRESS. In these cases, officers may utilize email for statements or photos needed for the report. As always, if reporting an emergency, please dial 911. If it is determined that a response by an officer is warranted, please understand that they are likely to keep a “safe distance” and unlikely to shake hands, etc. Again, this is out of an abundance of caution to keep our staff and the public safe and not an indicator of the officer’s friendliness or willingness to help.

Rest assured that help is there for you, as you would expect. Only temporary changes are being made to the way that services are provided, while being committed to the same excellent service that our community deserves.

For the Town’s website page dedicated to these updates, click here. (And click here to get their email updates.)

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chuck March 18, 2020 at 6:18 PM

I’d like to know why there were a dozen or more kids playing baseball at Woodward this afternoon… right in front of the new public safety complex? Do these folks (or their parents) not understand why schools aren’t in session right now?

I get trying to have some sense of normalcy, but we’re supposed to be curtailing unnecessary contact for the time being.

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2 Frank Crowell March 19, 2020 at 8:56 AM

Real grass, real dirt, real sunshine – play ball.

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3 Interested March 19, 2020 at 9:44 AM

I get that exercise and having some fun is excellent for the immune system. And that kids need to burn off energy. But we really should be following the Governor’s advice. He has said several times that kids need to understand that this school break is not summer-vacation-hang-with-your-friends time. He has warned against kids gathering at each other’s home, sharing remote controls and snacks and germs. He’s very serious about that. But it’s not law. So I don’t think the police can intervene.
I have seen lots of people talking walks. Fresh air and exercise is a really great way to boost the body’s ability to fight off illness. The Trustees’ posted on fb that although they are happy to see so many people enjoying nature, they would like to remind everyone to practice social distancing even when you are outside.
That all said, I think this is hard for kids and elderly alike. They are already extremely board. Anyone who is prone to depression or anxiety must really be coping with an added layer of difficulty.

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4 Chuck March 19, 2020 at 10:49 AM

I’m sorry, but I view that as a totally irresponsible attitude given what we know about the virus. According to what I’ve seen, some healthy young people can carry and transmit the virus while never showing symptoms. Now kid 1 spreads it to kids 2-12 who go home and spread it to all the other people in their respective homes.

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5 southsider March 19, 2020 at 9:00 AM

As in other more well publicized parts of the country, where the virus hasn’t hit in an obviously hard way, people are ignoring the guidelines. Once the virus becomea an obviously prevalent problem in MetroWest, it will be too late. The precautions need to be followed NOW!

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6 MarthaB March 19, 2020 at 11:18 AM

Thank you Southsider. And here’s my 2 cents. Yesterday, the 18th I went to Hopkinton State Park. It was a beautiful day and it was crowded as you’d expect. What I didn’t like to see were the crowds of young people in close groups, multiple families very close together. Of course I don’t know the circumstances and Yeah, I know maybe I’m being too sensitive about all this, but for heaven sakes please remember social distances must be practiced if we are to overcome this.

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7 Matthew March 19, 2020 at 9:57 AM

Police told me Wednesday late afternoon that all public fields, parks, school grounds will be closed and off limits for any number of people. I have not seen an official notice on this restriction or perhaps I missed it.
We were at the Finn playground yesterday and there were a lot of people.

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8 beth March 19, 2020 at 10:02 AM

I’ll check with Recreation on that status. My most recent impression had been that it was only closed to “organized” activities. (In other words, no league practices, etc.) I hadn’t seen any rules around the number of people allowed to be there at any one time.

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