In an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the Burbank Police Department said it will limit who can access its front lobby and is closing the animal shelter, which it oversees for the city, to the public.
The police department’s lobby will remain open for essential and emergency business until further notice, but the public is being asked to report most crimes on the department’s website, according to a statement from Burbank Police Sgt. Derek Green. In addition, the department is limiting jail visits to lawyers and bail bond agents.
The restrictions follow Monday’s announcement from Burbank officials that all city buildings, libraries and recreational facilities will be closed until April 6.
Crimes that can be reported online include theft, graffiti and vandalism. An online report can only be submitted if the crime is not an emergency, happened within city limits, did not occur on a freeway and if the suspects are unknown.
Situations that do not fall under the lobby restrictions include impound releases, legally mandated check-ins with law enforcement and whenever police presence is immediately needed. People are still encouraged to dial 911 in the event of an emergency.
Green said if a member of the public is at the department’s headquarters on Third Street and requires assistance, they will be asked to use an intercom next to the main entrance doors in order to be connected to an operator.
He added that a caller should notify the department’s communications operator if police are being called to respond to an incident where someone is suffering from flu-like symptoms, fevers or respiratory distress.
As for the Burbank Animal Shelter, Green said in a second statement the facility will be closed until April 6 like all other city buildings and is asking pet owners to refrain from giving up their animals during this time.
“In the event you are no longer able to care for your animal, we suggest first reaching out to friends and family for alternative placement,” he said.
Stray animals will still be allowed to be dropped off at the shelter, but residents are advised to call the facility first to arrange a pickup.
Despite the closure, Green said animals already at the shelter will continue to be cared for and staff members will be available by phone Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shelter can be reached at (818) 238-3000.