Sheriff’s office works to arrest coronavirus

Coronavirus and COVID-19 are significant concerns for law enforcement here. Sheriff Steve Rogers reassured the county that all sheriffs and police were taking precaution to keep the public and anyone taken into custody safe. That includes a hotline at 541-426-5475 for anyone who has concerns about safety, or might need advice. The hotline provides a looped message but also provides access to a real person, Rogers said.

“As one precaution we are not doing any non-criminal fingerprints,” Rogers said. “

“We are not transporting anyone to the Umatilla County Jail, even though we have a contract to hold people from Wallowa County there,” he said. “COVID-19 can be a huge problem in jails, and there are already confirmed cases in Umatilla County. We plan on keeping anyone we take into custody safe and closer to home.” When officers and their detainees enter the justice center through the back door, the detainee’s and officer’s temperatures are taken before they are admitted to the rest of the building. “It’s a precaution. It’s a good time for precautions,” he said.

Rogers said that the jail facilities in the Justice Center will accommodate up to a dozen prisoners, and that the whole facility had been cleaned and thoroughly sanitized. “Anytime a cell is vacated, we will carefully sanitize it again,” Rogers said. “And if anyone in custody has a significant medical problem, we get them to the hospital as soon as possible.”

Law enforcement agencies in Wallowa County have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment, he said, and are applying for funding to get more.

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