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Coronavirus Latest: Philadelphia Police Department Modifying Arrest Procedures Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Police Department is changing its arresting procedures amid the coroanvirus outbreak. The department said Tuesday that officers will arrest people, process them and let them go for certain non-violent offenses.

Those arrested will be re-arrested at a later date.

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"It should be noted that if a police officer believes that releasing an individual would pose a threat to public safety, the officer will notify a supervisor, who will review the totality of the circumstances, and in the interest of public safety, utilize discretion in determining the appropriate course of action," the department said in a statement.

However, those arrested for violent crimes will not be released.


Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw clarified the announcement overnight, tweeting that "The Philadelphia Police Department is not turning a blind eye to crime."

Persons who commit certain non-violent offenses will be arrested at the scene but processed at a later time, Outlaw reiterated.

The new procedures went into effect Tuesday.

Philadelphia is currently dealing with 18 coronavirus cases.

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