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Belton Police Chief issues statement regarding pandemic

A Message From Belton Police Chief James Person:

In 41 years of public safety experience I have been part of responding to many incidents. From crimes, to weather related disasters, to large public events each presenting their own challenges. I have lived through SARS, Bird Flu and H1N1, but never anything the likes of Caronavirus/COVID-19. While we have had theoretical training and table-top exercises in preparation for a large scale medical response, none of us have ever had to deal with a pandemic like we have now.

Belton Police Chief James Person

Living where we do in the Midwest, we benefit by being able to see what is being experienced globally and on either coast before it reaches us. We can look to the experience in China, the Middle East, Italy, and then to Washington, California, and New York to see how the disease, and responses progress. We know that here we are generally 2-3 weeks behind what our coasts have already dealt with. While our population is not as dense, we know that significant numbers of us will/have become ill, and for many this virus is fatal. The number of cases in our community grows exponentially every day now. We must take this situation seriously.

Generally people are doing what they should. There is less traffic on the road, many of our businesses are closed or have altered operations, and fewer people are congregating. Our government, schools, and faith communities are adapting and continuing to provide education, services, and meals. There are remarkable examples of kindness and generosity displayed in the community every day. However, this will not be a quick fix. We are one week into “Stay at Home”, and it is not easy. Forecasts now say that it will possibly be a month or more before we reach our peak here, and several months to get thru this cycle. Please continue to wash your hands, disinfect, practice social distancing, and STAY HOME.

In closing, I want to say how proud I am of our medical community and first responders. They are not just essential employees, they are critical to our welfare. They are risking their health and safety, as well as potential risk to their families to care for all of us. They are our true heroes in this and deserve our thanks and gratitude.

Together we will get through this. We must all be responsible individually and collectively to reduce risk and flatten the curve.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, And Stay Home.

James R. Person Chief of Police Emergency Management Director


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