COVID-19 has caused many places to alter their practices with the intent of interacting safely with the community.

According to McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy, the pandemic has hardly altered his department in terms of how his deputies conduct their patrols and respond to calls.

“COVID has not changed our general patrol response,” said Guy. “Our officers are still patrolling, answering calls, conducting investigations and performing their duties.”

Deputies still take precautions when interacting with the public, however.

“Deputies use masks and distancing when feasible during direct contact with others,” he noted. “We are attempting to utilize citations for misdemeanor offenses to reduce the number of people brought into the jail.”

Though the practices of patrol deputies saw little change, the jail is enforcing heavier restrictions.

“Jail operations require more diligence in staff using masks,” stated Guy. “Masks are worn anytime a corrections officer has contact with an inmate or are in an inmate housing area.”

Protocols have been developed in an attempt to keep the virus from coming into or spreading within the jail.

“We have developed plans for receiving and housing any inmate who comes in positive with COVID,” Guy said. “So far, we have had no positive COVID cases in our jail facility.”

Email shane.duncan

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