Suffolk police ask residents to only call 911 for true emergencies; report incidents online

The Suffolk County Police Department is warning residents not to call 911 if it's not an emergency.
Residents will be able to file a report online or over the phone for all non-emergency incidents starting Monday.
"We want to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and we want to limit in-person contact which we know will help protect the health and safety of our officers and of course the residents," saysSuffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart.
Types of crimes that can be reported include lost property, vandalism, traffic accidents with no injuries or minor damage, identity theft or harassing calls or emails. 
Police say people should call 911 if there is an ongoing incident, a threat of physical violence, injuries or domestic violence or if a firearm is involved or a hate crime occurred.
Hart says officers may also be wearing protective equipment like gloves and masks. 
Nassau police are also doing what they can to stop the spread of the virus, but they're taking a slightly different approach to how they field their emergency and non-emergency calls.

"If you call 911, you're going to be screened to see if you could be possibly coronavirus if it relates to an ambulance call. But on the other side, if you're non-emergency call, we'll take your information, we'll forward you to the precinct. The precinct will take the report," says Nassau County Police Commissi oner Patrick Ryder.