They are here to serve and protect, but in the social distancing age, the Cedar Rapids Police Department tells the public they can still do so without a physical presence.

When possible, the department is requesting communication from the public to be performed online or by phone at this time.

They are setting up reporting tools for non-emergency incidents, crimes that are not in progress or potential law violations that may not require in-person officer response.

You'll go to the Cedar Rapids Police Department website, fill out a form and receive a follow-up from the department by phone and/or e-mail in response to your request. The Gazette says officers will continue patrolling, respond to calls for service and enforce law violations during the COVID-19 crisis, but first responders are trying to limit face-to-face contact.

As always, 911 is available for emergencies. Should urgent assistance be needed and the online tools are not an option, call (319) 286-5491.

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