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Anchorage police will start wearing protective gear, ask questions about COVID-19

Anchorage police and dispatchers will be asking the public questions related to COVID-19 in an effort to prevent exposure to the virus in the coming weeks, the department said in an online statement.

The statement also noted that officers may wear personal protective equipment when interacting with the public.

“If you see an officer wearing PPE, it DOES NOT necessarily mean COVID-19 is present,” the department wrote.

The department closed the front lobby last week and said employees will be helping the public online or over the phone. Community engagement events, including the ride-a-long program and Coffee with a Cop, are suspended.

“The health and safety of the community is APD’s top priority,” the statement said. “These precautionary measures are designed to further assist in protecting the health and safety of our community. These extra measures will not impact the quality of service APD provides every day.”

There were 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alaska, including six in Anchorage, as of Saturday.