Dickinson chief of police addresses COVID-19 pandemic

The Dickinson Police Department’s mission remains much the same despite added hardships imposed by the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the state and nation.

“The Dickinson Police Department is always prepared to respond to emergencies and help ensure the safety of community members during this public health crisis, but it has definitely been a change in how we interact with the public,”

Dustin Dassinger, chief of police, said. Dickinson police regularly plan for a variety of man-made and naturally-occurring hazards, especially since the September 11 attacks. As a new threat faces the country, resulting in the potential for tens of thousands of deaths DPD remains committed to protecting and serving the community.

“Our department prides itself in being community orientated and interacting with the community in a variety of ways, and precautionary COVID-19 practices have changed this,” Dassinger said. “We continue to use our social media platforms as much as possible to continue public relations at some level, but we can't wait to get back to normal.”

According to Dassinger, the crime rate has been something that is difficult to judge since the imposed shelter-in-place recommendations were first issued.


“The volume right now is fluctuating,” Dassinger said. “We are concerned about a \u0009potential sustained increase in call volume. Especially the domestic and mental health related calls associated with the pandemic and oil related economics.”

Dassinger mentioned that the limited communication with relying on phone calls, emails and not being able to have face-to-face conversations have been major adjustments. Officers are also tasked with following strict social distance protocols, call screenings and have to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE). Adding these protocols have made the job increasingly difficult for law enforcement within the Dickinson community.

While these are hard times for everyone in every occupation, Dassinger and the entire Dickinson Law Enforcement want to inform the entire community they will continue to protect and serve the community as they always have.

“Day and night, the Dickinson Police Department is committed to the safety and welfare of all members of the Dickinson Community. We are closely monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic and assure you that our dedication to protecting our community is stronger than ever,” Dassinger wrote. You will continue to have the same level of service from our personnel. The Dickinson Police Department is always prepared to respond to emergencies and help ensure the safety of community members during this public health crisis.

Dassigner closed his statement with a comment for the general public, “As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is up to each one of us to do our part for the safety of our families and those around us. I understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, but we need to continue social distancing and isolation when necessary to minimize the spread of this disease.”

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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