O.C. Sheriff’s Department closes station lobbies, reduces deputies’ public contact amid coronavirus crisis

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Orange County Sheriff' Don Barnes (Credit: Allen J. Chaben/Los Angeles Times)

Orange County Sheriff’ Don Barnes (Credit: Allen J. Chaben/Los Angeles Times)

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In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes on Tuesday moved to decrease deputies’ contact with the public, closing front lobbies of stations and reducing the circumstances of taking in-person police reports and suspending visits to the jails.

“Our foremost responsibility is to keep the community safe, while implementing precautionary measures to safeguard the health of the public who rely on our service and the members of the department who respond to their call,” Barnes said.

In addition to closing front lobbies and substations, all volunteer programs are suspended; this includes senior programs in contract cities and those provided by jail volunteers.

Barnes is directing patrol deputies to use discretion in responding to calls for services that require social contact. Where possible, deputies will call reporting parties and take necessary reports over the phone.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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