LOS ANGELES — After leaders around Los Angeles County and Governor Gavin Newsom issued orders for residents to stay home to slow down the spread of COVID-19, Los Angeles Chief of Police Michel Moore said this is a time for the Los Angeles Police Department to build trust with the community. 

“The first thing we don’t think about is how we’re going to go out and enforce this,” Moore said. “What we’re looking at is how do we encourage the community to act in part of a social contract, part of their responsibilities to protect themselves and their neighbors.”

Spectrum News 1 anchor Giselle Fernandez sat down with Moore on a new series called COVID-19: Just the Facts.

FULL COVERAGE | Coronavirus Updates and Resources in Southern California

In a candid conversation about the coronavirus epidemic, Moore said the difference this time compared to everything else he has seen in his 39 years on the force is the unknown.

“I think that the scariness, the fear, the panic that is in the community that can stem from something that you don’t see is different than an earthquake or a fire which manifests itself with damaged structures, inability to move across roadways, smoke in the air, you can smell it, you can feel it,” he said. “Here, it’s a ‘boogeyman’ factor.”


Moore talked to Fernandez about the steps Los Angeles is taking to help flatten the curve and keep communities safe during these uncertain times. 

LAPD moved half of its detectives to field locations such as grocery stores, fuel stations, and facilities that care for elderly residents.

“We’re there to ensure that the order is maintained through a cooperative community,” Moore said.

When residents report a crime, Moore said the LAPD is trying to model social distancing by asking if they can handle reporting it over the phone or online while still accomplishing what needs to get done.

If officers need to respond to the scene of a crime or incident, they will stand six feet away to practice social distancing.

To learn more about what the city is doing, watch the episode in the video above or visit corona-virus.la.