The Vancouver Police Department will begin delivering medical prescriptions to select groups as it expands its mission response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The department announced Thursday that officers and recruits waiting to attend the Washington State Basic Law Academy will begin the deliveries as part of a pilot program aimed at serving residents who are 65 or older, or people who have health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.
Following the lead of neighboring law enforcement agencies, Vancouver police officers and recruits will start delivering medical prescriptions for eligible residents while the state’s stay-at-home order is in place.
Police department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said in an email that police departments in Lake Oswego, Ore., and Forest Grove, Ore., are running similar programs.
People who are unsure if they live within the city limits can check at https://www.cityofvancouver.us/ourcity/page/do-you-live-or-work-city-vancouver. Residents who meet the criteria may call the police department at 360-487-7355 and request a prescription delivery from a county pharmacy. The service is available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The police department said it cannot guarantee the time of delivery, so if an urgent dispatch of medication is needed, people should consider all their options.
Immediately following the arrangement of a pickup, residents must contact their pharmacy to order and pay, and notify the pharmacy that police officers are authorized to pick it up. If the pharmacy says there will be a delay, the person requesting delivery should call the police department with information about when the prescription will be ready.
Residents will need to present a valid photo ID to officers at the time of delivery. Officers will be in their uniforms, wearing personal protective equipment and adhering to social-distancing guidelines.
“The Vancouver Police Department will be monitoring this pilot program daily and based on this assessment, the program will be evaluated for continuation or may be discontinued if it is not meeting the needs of the community effectively or appropriately,” the news release says.
All pending and confirmed prescription deliveries will be completed prior to the program being discontinued, according to the police department.
Kapp said the law enforcement academy has been closed due to the worldwide health crisis.
“We had some recruits up there who had to come home, and one who was literally headed up and had to turn around. No dates have been set to reopen (the academy), but we are doing some internal training for them in the meantime,” Kapp said.
Involving the recruits in the prescription program will get them involved with the community faster and prepare them for becoming police officers, she said.