Coronavirus: Vigilance is high at jail, says sheriff

  • The CCSO released a statement Wednesday about its efforts to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. 
    The CCSO released a statement Wednesday about its efforts to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. 

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is making some changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including additional limitations on public access to its operations building, but officials say day-to-day operations will remain largely the same. 

On Wednesday, CCSO released a statement Wednesday about its efforts to deal with the crisis. 

“As the nation responds to the COVID 19 pandemic, we at the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office are adapting to the challenges associated with providing professional law enforcement services to our community while keeping our citizens and our personnel safe and virus free,” the statement reads. 

To curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the Sheriff’s Office is limiting access to its operations building until the risk has subsided.  

The lobby will be open during normal business hours, but the public is asked to conduct business over the phone if possible.  

Deputies have been instructed to limit person-to-person contact and work over the phone whenever possible. 

When person-to-person contact is required, the Sheriff’s Office will be observing the six-foot rule as advised by the Centers for Disease Control. Protective gear will be used when appropriate.  

Currently, there have been no significant changes in day-to-day operations, according to the statement.  

“Deputies are still on patrol, being vigilant and answering calls for service,” the statement reads. “The detention deputies are still performing their duties; exercising care, custody and control of the inmates.  The detectives are still investigating and solving cases.  Judicial deputies are still securing our courts and serving civil papers.  And lastly our administrative staff are still at work supporting our mission.”

“We will continue to update our citizens on the latest information on social media and our website,” the statement continues. “Please be patient and follow the health department guidelines so this time can be shortened.”

A message from Sheriff Mark Hunter is included in the statement. 

“I want to assure the citizens of Columbia County, that if or when you need a deputy, one will be there to help you without delay,” Hunter said in the statement. “Our deputies are highly trained and have the best equipment, however limiting contact is the safest way to prevent this contagion from spreading.  So with this in mind, I have directed some minor changes to keep everyone safe.”