‘This Is How We Win': How San Diego Law Enforcement Operates Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Text "COSD COVID19" to 468311 to receive updates and alerts from the county


With a Stay at Home Order from the California governor, as well as local mandates shuttering “nonessential” businesses and prohibiting social gatherings, life in San Diego has been drastically upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under these restrictions, many wonder how emergency services and law enforcement agencies have changed their practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still being able to serve and protect their communities.

San Diego law enforcement groups have taken extra steps to not only keep residents safe but in good spirits.

Many agencies have used social media as way to post safety reminders, as well as an inspirational message here and there.

Other times, San Diego's law enforcement groups have used their platforms to share personal examples of how they are still serving a community stuck at home.

The San Diego Police Department made it clear that they are able to check on any elderly residents -- "even if they just want to speak through the window."

Going above and beyond their duty, officers went grocery shopping for a 95-year-old man dubbed "Mr. Teo" after police performed a welfare check and noticed the widower could use an extra hand.

The department said, "This is how we win."

Another check-in by San Diego Police officers was posted to the department's Twitter.

Officers have been instructed to keep a safe distance not only during welfare checks but at all times.

And this goes for the agency's K-9s too.

In an Instagram post, the San Diego Police Department showed two K-9 units staying apart, with a caption, "Our canines are doing their part too!"

San Diego Fire-Rescue took a moment to thank the city's residents who have stayed home, as ordered by Governor Gavin Newsom.

While some public outdoor areas were left open over the weekend, including beaches and parks, firefighters and lifeguards gave a reminder to keep a safe six feet of distance at all times.

On March 23, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer shut down city beaches, parks, boardwalks, lakes and trails in response to several illegal gatherings reported in the days prior, as did the city of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

San Diego Fire-Rescue reminded its followers of these closures, and the city and county are "safer at home."

The La Mesa Police Department posted a video to its Twitter account, explaining the step its officers are taking to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"Police officers may be wearing personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks, and eye protection," the video stated.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department detailed a "price gouging" operation, where eight people were arrested allegedly trying to sell cleaning products for a big profit.

The agency said it "will not tolerate price gouging in this time of exceptional need."

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department also used its social media accounts to pass along federal, state, and county updates on the pandemic.

The El Cajon Police Department posted a good reminder on its Instagram page about how to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19.

The department also spotted a rainbow over its building and used it as an example to stop and appreciate the little things in these uncertain times.

The caption read, "During this tough time... it’s always nice to see a rainbow (especially overlooking ECPD!)."

In National City, its area police department shared a tweet about a unique and inspiring creative outlet.

The police department and city want National City residents to decorate their sidewalks and windows -- writing inspirational messages, kind words, or just fun pictures. The call to action is a simple way to spread joy, as well as staying active in a safe way.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced changes to border crossings on its Twitter page.

The U.S. Border Patrol has also been posting to its social media about the steps its taking to ensure its agents and the people they interact with are not furthering the spread of COVID-19.

Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Patricia shared photos from her patrol on March 20, where agents wore face masks.

The Encinitas Fire Department reminded its followers to text "COSD COVID19" to 468311 to receive updates and alerts from the county.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the novel coronavirus. It first appeared in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has since spread across the globe, officially being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

On March 9, officials confirmed the first local case in San Diego County. On March 22, officials confirmed the first San Diegan had died from COVID-19.

For continuing coverage on the coronavirus pandemic in Southern California, click here.

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