County officials continue to assess community response to the Governor’s “Stay home, stay safe” order and the effect visitor travel is having on social distancing in our communities. This has been a graduating enforcement process beginning with education. As warmer weather has arrived, we have seen increases in visitors to our area and instances of disregard to closed off areas and social distancing requirements. To ensure the safety of our community, enforcement deputies will be closely monitoring popular congregation areas throughout the county and may take enforcement action against individuals and groups refusing to comply with the Governor’s order and Lincoln County Order #3-23-85, where applicable, if these violations continue.
“We are very thankful of our community’s response to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Lincoln County” stated Sheriff Curtis Landers. “We have seen a tremendous effort from our citizens to reduce their travel by taking social distancing seriously which has had a very positive effect on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Lincoln County thus far. Unfortunately, we have seen instances of increased visitor travel to popular destinations throughout the county as our weather has improved, including group congregations and disregard for posted and closed off areas. Should this continue, our deputies will be faced with taking enforcement action against those who fail to comply with the restrictions outlined in the Governor’s order as well as Lincoln County Order #3-23-85” stated Sheriff Landers.
The following protocols instituted March 14, 2020 were reevaluated and will remain in effect indefinitely. Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact our Sheriff’s Office. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is instituting measures to reduce opportunities of COVID-19 exposure to our employees and citizens. Effective immediately, the Lincoln County Jail will only accept arrestees for serious crimes and individuals who pose an extreme risk to the community. All other individuals suspected of committing crimes will be cited and released to appear in court. Pretrial Specialists will assist in monitoring individuals who are cited to reduce their risk of re-offending.
Offenders will continue to be held accountable for their actions regardless of these changes. The reason for taking these precautions is to limit the opportunity of the COVID-19 from entering the facility which could cause devastating effects to deputies and other adults in custody. Our Patrol Division will also be taking safety measures to reduce the risk of exposure. Patrol deputies will continue to respond to emergency calls and situations that jeopardize public safety and will continue patrolling our communities and roadways. Deputies will be utilizing other means of communication such as phone or online reporting for non-emergent calls that do not require an in-person response.
Our Animal Shelter will be temporarily reducing in-person services at their facility. Dog owners are encouraged to license their pets via mail or can call our shelter directly at 541-265-6610. The license application may be downloaded from our animal shelter website at www.lincolncountyanimalshelter.org. Owner surrender and adoption services will be temporarily postponed as well. Our Animal Services deputies will continue to respond to calls for service in the community. They too, will be utilizing other means of communication to limit in-person contact.
Additionally, we will be postponing facility tours, deputy ride-a-longs, and other office events for one month. We will be rescheduling Concealed Handgun Licensing appointments during this time as well as fingerprinting services. Citizens who have already scheduled an appointment for one or more of these services will be contacted in the near future to reschedule.