Clatsop County Sheriff Implements Protective Measures for COVID-19
Story by by Oregon Herald staff
The measures implemented by Governor Brown to slow and stop the spread of coronavirus have significantly impacted the lives of the citizens of our county and state. Through the Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Sheriff's around the state have been coordinating and sharing information with regard to suggested practices and precautionary measures to protect the health and well being of those we serve, our Deputy Sheriff's and staff, and those who are entrusted to our care and supervision. I am implementing procedures to mitigate or reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 while still providing the citizens of Clatsop County access to our critical functions, law enforcement response and public safety services.
Effective Wednesday, March 18th, 2020: The civil and administrative division will limit fingerprinting services to only medical professionals and educators who need this service for gaining or maintaining professional licensure. This will be limited to individuals who live or work in Clatsop County. Acceptance of new concealed handgun license (CHL) applications, which require fingerprinting, will be suspended until further notice. CHL renewals, records requests, and civil processes will still be processed normally. We ask that anyone who has traveled outside the country, has a fever, has been exposed to others with the virus or is exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID or other respiratory illnesses not enter any Sheriff's Office facilities. Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be turned away.
The animal shelter will limit the public to five persons inside at any time. To accommodate, dog introductions will occur at the outdoor play area. Events and tours at the animal shelter are canceled for the foreseeable future. Staff will disinfect and clean tables, door handles, clip boards and pens after each group of people have left the building and prior to letting new groups in. Operations are otherwise normal and it is important people still adopt animals in need of a new home.
The Enforcement Division deputies will provide law enforcement services at full strength. Depending on circumstances, deputies may take precautions while contacting citizens to include distancing and use of personal protective equipment. Citizens may request to have deputies take initial reports for cases which will not lead to immediate arrest over the phone to reduce personal exposure through contact. The priority and commitment to conserving the peace through patrol, response and investigation is unchanged.
The jail is taking extra steps to screen new arrestees prior to admission to protect the well being of other inmates and staff. Finally, the Community Corrections division has implemented programs to increase the efficiency of monitoring low risk offenders to allow more time for personal contact with high risk offenders.
The Sheriff's Office is committed to providing full access to public safety services. The temporary suspension of a few services was made in consideration of public interest to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect each other. This is a rapidly evolving and changing situation and one which we will all be required to adapt to. I encourage everyone to take reasonable precautions and to support your friends, neighbors and family through this event.
Sheriff Matthew D. Phillips