More deputies will be out on patrol.
Frederick, Md (KM) It’s all hands on deck at the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office during the coronavirus emergency. During a briefing on Wednesday, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said all sworn officers are considered essential personnel. He says more deputies will be on patrol, and that allows the Sheriff’s Office to quickly shift operational assignments. “Deputies have been directed to safely distance themselves when interacting with the public in the course of their duties. After any interaction, they will take the steps necessary to sanitize themselves,” he says.
“All operational personnel have provided with the proper personal protective equipment to perform their jobs while protecting themselves and the public from the threat of any exposure,”: says Sheriff Jenkins. “In the possible event you see deputies wearing protective gear such as masks and gloves, please don’t get alarmed. They’re simply out there doing what they need to do.”
Earlier this week, Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order closing bars, restaurants and other places where 50 or more people may gather. “We are prepared to enforce the Governor’s order in regards to gathering, the closing of bars and clubs, restaurants with the exception of carry out and curbside services, fitness centers and theaters” the Sheriff says. “I really anticipate that we will see voluntary compliance throughout Frederick County.”
He says some changes have been made at the local Detention Center as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. “All visitation of inmates by families and friends is suspended until further notice. All programs involving members of the public, any events, tours, volunteer access has been suspended. But internal programs such as recreation, law library, Project 103, church services will remain intact,” says Jenkins.
Attorneys from the Public Defenders Office and other lawyers who need to meet with their clients at the local Detention Center will do so via Skype. “Transports to and from Department of Corrections are suspended for now. Intakes of any new ICE inmates were suspended last week,” the Sheriff says.
The Sheriff’s Office is a part of a program with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold individual charged with immigration violations. The county is reimbursed by the federal government for this service.
“It’s going to take the help and cooperation of each one of you to get through this COVID-19, which is a world health crisis,” says Jenkins. “More importantly, because this situation is very fluid, almost changing hourly, please make reasonable decisions in regards to the needs of you and your family, don’t hoard necessities, make sure the most vulnerable people in our county get they need first, and please demonstrate some patience.”
By Kevin McManus