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Grand Rapids Police Chief: Don't call 911 about social distancing or non-essential businesses

Chief Eric Payne thanked the community for its support during this challenging time.
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE

The Grand Rapids Police Chief is asking the public not to call 911 about people standing close together or nonessential businesses remaining open. 

"We need to keep the 911 lines open for emergencies," Chief Eric Payne wrote in a letter Tuesday. "Dispatching officers to investigate whether a business is essential or not is not the best use of our resources at this time."

Payne advised residents to call 311 to report any concerns or call the Michigan Attorney General’s Office at 517-335-7599 or 877-765-8388.

On Monday, March 23, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued the stay at home order, which called for the closure of all nonessential businesses through April 13. 

RELATED: Michigan's stay at home order: What am I allowed to do?

Payne said his department fully supports the order and encourages people to continue adhering to the state's recommendations and orders. 

"Staying home and practicing social distancing are the best ways to protect you and those you care about. I am confident our community members will continue to take appropriate steps to address this public health emergency," Payne said. 

Payne thanked the community and said calls to the department are down. He said there has also been an outpouring of support for first responders. 

As of Tuesday, March 24, there are 1,791 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state and 24 deaths. 

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website.

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