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Effective Wednesday, November 18, 2020 the Nantucket Police Department has suspended accepting any applications for permits or licenses that require a fingerprint based criminal records check.
Included in this suspension are firearms related permits such as LTC permits and FID Cards. This action was taken after employees responsible for obtaining these fingerprints expressed their concern that they could not safely do their jobs with the workplace safety procedures that we have in place. Because of the processes involved in obtaining these permits it is impossible to do while following state guidelines for social distancing in the workplace.
Nantucket is experiencing a significant increase in the number of daily COVID-19 cases and expects to see this situation get worse over the next few months according to Health Department Officials. We have an obligation to our staff and to the community to take whatever precautions are necessary to protect their health and safety, especially during this pandemic. While we all want to think that Nantucket is unique, we are not unique in the way that COVID impacts us. If a staff member becomes infected and exposes an entire shift of police officers to COVID and we are required to quarantine for 14 days, who will we call for back up? There simply is nobody. For this reason, we must take whatever steps are reasonable possible to protect our Public Safety staff and in some cases, more extreme than what is generally done in mainland communities.
We have a state of art police facility however nobody ever conceived of a pandemic creating this type of problem. We believe that in the interest of safety for our employees and the community that it is best that we suspend accepting these types of applications until we can identify solutions to make the process safe for everyone involved. This move is not without precedent. We suspended accepting such applications earlier in the year when this pandemic first started and non-essential personnel were required to work from home. We resumed accepting these permits on July 14th after implementing what we believed to be adequate workplace safety procedures. However, at the time the island was not experiencing many, if any, cases of COVID. That has changed. And after listening to our employees, we agree that their concerns are potentially valid.
While, we don’t have a specific time line we are committed to seeking a solution to the issue and hopefully be able to resume accepting applications requiring a fingerprint based criminal records check soon.
Once again, this suspension only applies to permits and licenses that require a fingerprint based criminal records check. All other permits are still available at the permit window located at 2 Fairgrounds Road.
Nantucket Police Department