WESTPORT — As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the state, the Westport Police Department has announced a change in operations.

“The Westport Police Department has always been and continues to be a service oriented agency committed to protecting our community nad prioritizing the safety of our residents and visitors,” a Wednesday news release said. “It has become apparent that the COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented public health crisis; one that will necessite the modifications of our current operations in the interest of furthering the above goal.”

Residents requiring the department’s service are encouraged to contact the department by telephone rather than in person. Visitors will only be granted access beyond the main lobby of headquarters under only certain special circumstances, the news release said.

Calls made to the non-emergency and emergencey linces will contiue to be answered.

“Callers should now expect that the operator will ask a series of questions to determine the nature and details of the call in order to determine whether or not officers are required to respond,” the news release said. “Officers will continue to respond to crimes in progress, violent offenses and medical emergencies.”

If a call does not meet the criteria for response, but requires follow-up, the call-taker will log the complaint. This complaint will then be assigned to an officer or detective who will remotely conduct a follow-up investigation.

Residents can also use the online reporting system for non-emergencies. This can include identity theft, lost property, vehicle burglary, vehicle tampering, vandalism and more.

The records division has also been partially closed and will no longer process requests at the window. All record-related inquiries are asked to call 203-341-6001. For railroad parking inquiries residents should call 203-341-6052. Parking tickets are to be paid or appealed online.

“It is the responsibility of all of us to do our part to keep each other safe and healthy,” the statement concluded. “We anticipate that these changes will be temporary, and look forward to restoring all normal services as soon as is feasible.”