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Policing Pandemic Rumors  
Policing Pandemic Rumors

As concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow and increasingly aggressive measures are taken in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus in the community, the Knoxville Police Department will work to combat rumors and answer your most frequently asked questions as it pertains to law enforcement’s role in protecting and safeguarding the Knoxville community. 

Is a curfew in effect in Knoxville? 

No, there is not a curfew. On Monday, the Knox County Health Department issued a Safer at Home Order, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24. The order does not prevent citizens from leaving their homes. However, residents are urged to stay at home as much as possible and to only leave their homes for essential services. 

Is Knoxville on lockdown? Do I need documents to leave my residence? 

No. Again, citizens are urged to follow the Safer at Home Order and stay at home as much as possible, but can freely leave their residences without documentation. However, residents should make every effort to follow the social distancing guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Knox County Health Department. At this point, people should understand their role and responsibility in limiting the communal spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve.  

What is KPD doing to enforce the mandates of the Safer at Home Order? 

The Knox County Health Department is responsible for supporting businesses to comply with the order. Concerns can be reported to 3-1-1 or 865-215-4311. However, the hope is that punitive measures are not necessary and that people will continue to do the right thing, which means following the recommendations and directives of the CDC and other public health entities.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, will a KPD officer show up if I call 911? 

The answer is almost always yes. Supervisors and 911 call takers have been directed to closely monitor calls and find opportunities for officers to limit contact with the public if possible. That protocol is in place to keep our first responders healthy and safe while maintaining the service the Knoxville community expects of its police department. 

An officer might not show up if the call can be handled remotely, such as a wreck that does not involve injury and is not blocking traffic, lost property, civil disputes, etc. However, a KPD officer will continue to respond to emergencies, in-progress events, matters that require immediate police intervention or presence, and any incident that requires evidence processing. 

The precautions implemented by the KPD will largely go unnoticed by the public. If public safety is at risk, the KPD will be there. 

Will the National Guard be deployed? 

There are no imminent plans to deploy the National Guard for assistance in law enforcement. There are numerous ways the National Guard can be utilized unrelated to law enforcement, including supplementing the efforts of medical personnel, distribution of food, water and supplies, and the transport and use of special equipment.

Do you need to stockpile goods at the grocery store or other service providers?

No, the Safer at Home Order does not impact services that are considered essential for protecting the health and well-being of all individuals residing or working in Knox County, including grocery and beverage stores, pharmacies, banks, veterinaries, and more. The complete list of businesses and services that the order does not apply to, as well as the answers to many other frequently asked questions, can be found here.  

Citizens should be respectful of their fellow community members and buy normal quantities of the items needed on the same schedule you normally purchase those items. 
Posted by serland On 25 March, 2020 at 4:28 PM