It’s so cold out even police officers are not allowed on the roads unless they have to. IMPD is restricting officers to only respond to emergencies, including welfare checks, car crashes, and abandoned vehicles. Other incidents, such as theft reports, may be done by phone instead of a home visit.
“It’s just too dangerous for us to come to your house and talk to you in person,” said Patrolman Richard Lavish Jr. of IMPD.
It’s Lavish’s night shift on the city’s east side — known as one of the busiest in the state. The snow and bitter cold, however, have proven challenging.
Fox 59 went on a ride-a-long with Lavish Monday. It didn’t take long for us to come across several road hazards that could potentially hinder how first responders do their job.
“The supervisors are telling us not do anything unless we have to,” he said. “If I have to run somewhere, lights and sirens, it’s not like the roads are completely clear and I can go really fast.”
We saw several people walking alongside cars on the street because the sidewalks are covered with snow. Abandoned vehicles were also in the way of traffic.
“These people are putting themselves in danger just by walking on the street right now with this vehicular traffic,” said Lavish. “I’m dismayed by it. I wish they’d just stay home.”
Minutes later, Lavish was called to an accident involving a pickup that rear-ended a DPW plow truck. He’s told the impact damaged the salt spreader, leaving the truck out of commission for awhile. The pickup driver said he was heading home from work and couldn’t stop in time.
“You’re watching them drive past you, praying they get where they need to go safely,” said Lavish.