The coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing how we live our daily lives. During the past two weeks as we have navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic, I have received numerous inquiries about the effect on the daily operations of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
First and foremost, our staff and deputies have been, and will be, available to assist the community 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. In order for us to respond to your needs, we need to keep ourselves healthy. We have been working diligently behind the scenes, keeping in constant communication with state and federal leaders to ensure we have all the necessary resources. In order to keep our staff and citizens safe and secure, we have modified some of our normal procedures.
Based on the information we have received from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we are doing our part to help stop the spread of this virus. We are practicing and encouraging social distancing whenever possible, and have supplied our staff with adequate hand sanitizer, Personal Protective Equipment, and disinfectant. In addition, we are regularly cleaning and sanitizing door handles, computers, and other regularly touched surfaces.
In an effort to limit personal contact, our fingerprinting services are restricted to only those situations considered necessary. We are still processing applications for pistol purchase permits, concealed carry permits and renewals. We do ask that anyone requiring fingerprinting services or applying for permits call ahead and make an appointment.
In our detention center, we have halted all in-person visits unless the person visiting is an attorney or clergy member who has previously registered with the facility. Moreover, we are continually cleaning and sanitizing surfaces to prevent contamination.
Just as we are doing our part to keep everyone safe, we ask the same of you. Simple measures like washing your hands often with soap and water can help stop viruses like COVID-19 from spreading. Please abide by the social distancing guidelines and stay at home unless you have an emergency. Social gatherings of 10 or more people should be canceled or postponed.
As I mentioned previously, I have been in constant contact with state and federal officials who assure me that there are plenty of household supplies and resources to go around. Buying household essentials is fine, but hoarding items can be harmful to others who also need them. Restaurants, schools, gyms, salons and movie theaters have closed for public use, however, delivery, pick-up, takeout and drive-thru purchases are open. Pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores and food pantries remain open, so you will still be able to buy necessities. This is a temporary crisis and we will get through it.
Also, please keep in mind that there are people out there who try to take advantage of others every day, but especially during times of crisis. Please be wary of anyone who calls, texts or emails you soliciting money for COVID-19 purposes. Never give out any personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone. Also, never confirm your personal information to anyone who calls. Remember, people are able to replicate their phone numbers to show up as any number on your caller ID, so even if you recognize the number, it is most likely a scam. Never give anyone a credit card number or any kind of gift card number.
Lastly, in the midst of the panic around COVID-19, we should continue to look to each other to help us get through it. This virus may have caused widespread anxiety and stress, but it has also brought out the best in our community. Please continue to check on our elderly and those in need. If you know of anyone in need of food, shelter or other resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us. There are numerous community outreach initiatives and we will get through this together.
We appreciate our community and thank you for your patience as we work through this health crisis. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, or wish to speak about any law enforcement related issues, please call me at 704-878-3180, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.iredellsheriff.com.