La PORTE — With Gov. Eric Holcomb’s two-week Stay-At-Home Order underway, the City of La Porte has addressed how its offices are responding.

Holcomb issued the mandatory Stay-At-Home Order on Monday to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order ends on April 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET, but could be extended if the outbreak warrants it.

Hoosiers are to remain in their homes except when they are at work or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies and for health and safety.

On Monday evening La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody addressed the city via Facebook Live to reiterate the Stay-At-Home Order.

“The sooner we do our part to mitigate the spread, the sooner we’ll return to some degree of normalcy,” Dermody said. “We’re in this together and we’ll beat it together.”

Dermody advised that everyone stay home and spend quality time with their families.

“(However) if you do need to go to work, if you do need a grocery store, please consider using La Porte Transit,” he said.

Starting Wednesday, La Porte Transit, said Dermody, will be offering free rides Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to pharmacies, grocery stores and medical visits.

The City of La Porte’s essential services, including police, fire, water, wastewater and transit, will still be open.

“If you have questions, we want you to call City Hall,” said Dermody. “We are here for you. We are your resource.”

Dermody directed residents to two online resources, https://hflaporte.org/covid-19 -resources and http://laporte partnership.com/corona virus-business-resources for health information, business resources and other community needs.

“La Porte has been an amazing community over the last couple weeks,” Dermody said. “Thank you to everyone that has made a difference in La Porte and in someone’s life.”

La Porte City Police also responded to Holcomb’s Stay-At-Home Order.

“The La Porte Police will not be stopping vehicles to check for compliance with the Governor’s order, however, they will be keeping a watchful eye for any criminal activity as they always have,” Assistant Police Chief Nathan Thode stated in a press release.

No passes will be required from the public and La Porte City Police ask that all citizens comply with the orders and use common sense.

“We are all in this together and will come through it better as a community and stronger than ever,” Thode stated. “Please practice kindness and patience in these unusual and uncertain times.”

The La Porte City Police Department has also issued revised operating procedures.

“We are balancing the safety of the citizens, visitors, businesses, civilian employees and sworn officers in La Porte,” Thode said.

Effective Tuesday, the records personnel is down to one clerk per business day. All records/accident requests should be either emailed or phoned in. The public is asked to provide an email address or fax number to send those to you if you are cleared to receive them. Contact LPPD records via email _Records@lpcitypd.com or by phone (219) 362-9446. Records will be available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Handgun permits will be processed though no fingerprints will be done. Most of the handgun permit can be started online and fingerprints taken off site. Call ahead for appointment once you have completed the online requirements and have your fingerprint receipt. Online applications can be accessed at www.in.gov/isp/2829.htm

The public is asked to do their business via the email or telephone; however the lobby will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for limited walk in traffic for police matters. There will be a sworn police officer working the front desk Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For police or records related questions do not hesitate to call (219) 362-9446 to speak with the desk officer. After 4 p.m. follow the prompts on the automated answering system to be connected with dispatch.

All detectives and patrol officers will be on duty during their regular assigned shifts. As the in the past week, it will be up to the individual officer if they wish to handle non-emergency calls over the telephone when possible.

All emergency calls, in progress and accident calls will be answered as always.

All patrol shifts will be actively patrolling and checking their neighborhoods and businesses with heightened awareness to closed businesses.

“Please do not take it personally if an officer is maintaining social distancing or decides to wear protective devices,” Thode said. “Our officers respond to approximately 2,800 calls for service a month and they must be cautious.”

Also in La Porte, the city’s parks will remain open, but with exceptions:

All playgrounds, including Fort La Play Porte, are closed by state recommendation because they pose a high risk of spreading the virus. Thrills N Spills Skate Park and the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte Fitness Court are also closed.

The Park Office is closed.

The La Porte Civic Auditorium is closed and all events cancelled through May 10.

Cummings Lodge closed and all events cancelled through May 10. Picnic shelter rentals have also been cancelled.

Beechwood Golf Course remains open but with no greens fees being charged. The clubhouse and restrooms are closed and carts will not be available.

All recreation classes are cancelled through April 13. Cancellations of future classes will be announced as decisions are made.

The Park Department remains optimistic about playing Boys Baseball and Girls Softball this season. However, the Rally Day events on March 28 and April 14 are cancelled. Once we decide on start dates for the seasons, coaches will call parents to let them know about team assignments and practice schedules.

Online registration is available for T-Ball through May 1 and we are taking a limited number of late registrations for Boys Baseball and Girls Softball. The links for online registration can be found at www.cityoflaporte.com/136/Park-Recreation.

Park restrooms are still closed from winter and any decisions on when the restrooms are opened will be made after considering all factors. Portable restrooms have been removed from the parks as a health precaution.

“Families can go outside and take a walk, run or bike ride, but they should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people,” said the City of La Porte Parks and Recreation Department in a statement. “Additionally, we encourage residents to stay home when sick, cover their coughs and practice good hand hygiene. If enjoying the outdoors, we ask residents to return home immediately if they begin to have symptoms of acute respiratory virus.”

– From staff reports

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