Town Talk 03/25/20: Sheriff, Police Chief Discuss Procedures, Coronavirus Reaction

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THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame and Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow appeared on WIZS Town Talk Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Brame and Barrow explained that both the Vance County Sheriff’s Office and the Henderson Police Department have made adjustments in their operating procedures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

For example, many non-violent criminal reports will only be taken by telephone during the coronavirus pandemic. These reports include, but are not limited to: misdemeanor theft, harassing communications, lost property, identity theft, computer/phone/mail scams.

Reports can be made with a Henderson Police Department employee during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F) at (252) 438-4141. Reports can be made with a Sheriff’s Office employee during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F) at (252) 738-2200.

The front lobby of the Police Department has been temporarily closed to the public, while the front lobby of the Sheriff’s Office will only allow one person at a time until further notice.

According to Brame, the Sheriff’s Office will continue to monitor the Vance County Detention Center to limit the exposure to inmates and staff; visitation is restricted until further notice.

“This [coronavirus] is having a huge impact on everyone in Vance County economically, especially small businesses and convenience stores,” said Brame. “We are all going to have to comply with executive orders from the governor and president. Right now, we are looking at ways that churches can still hold services and serve God while complying with orders concerning congregation numbers, but we are going to work it out.”

Governor Roy Cooper’s recent ban on gatherings larger than 50 people has prompted area churches to get creative with ways to still hold services. Brame said he has spoken with several local pastors and has heard suggestions ranging from online sermons to holding multiple services to keep the numbers below the threshold.

With updates coming from the governor and public health officials sometimes hourly, Barrow said law enforcement is facing the challenges head-on and adjusting accordingly. “We’ve been dealing with the unknown our entire careers. We live in the unknown. We took an oath to our office and our guys are prepared to take on whatever they need to take on.”

One of the challenges facing the department now, according to Brame, is securing enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for the staff. Brame said he is visiting several stores daily trying to gather enough face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and other PPE for his deputies.

Both Brame and Barrow agreed that local City and County officials, as well as the general public, have been supportive and responsive during this time.

“I’m proud of our community,” said Barrow. “They’ve taken heed to the orders that have come down, for the most part, and we haven’t had any issues.”

To hear the interview with Brame and Barrow in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

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