In an effort to enhance efforts to protect against COVID-19, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office announces a number of new measures to attempt to limit potential public and staff exposure. These protocols will remain in effect until further notice.
Deputies are patrolling Okaloosa beaches to remind residents and tourists alike to stick to the Governor’s emergency order on social distancing and avoiding more than ten people in a group. The OCSO is seeking voluntary compliance, however Sheriff Larry Ashley says if voluntary compliance is not obtained, beaches will be closed.
Beginning Thursday, March 19th at 8 a.m., deputies will begin call-in crime reporting for most low-priority, non-violent/and or misdemeanor crimes that have already occurred – versus in person responses. The normal dispatch lines will be used and calls of that nature forwarded to deputies – or your calls returned by deputies – as soon as possible.
The OCSO is limiting access to headquarter and substation lobbies and asking the public to attempt to do business by phone or email whenever possible. Most buildings have an outdoor phone that can be used for routine business as needed.
The OCSO is suspending all elective fingerprinting, with the exception of statutorily mandated fingerprinting such as arrestees and sexual offender registrations.
Sheriff Ashley wants to reassure the public that our OCSO deputies have implemented multiple precautionary practices in interacting with the public, ranging from social distancing to wearing masks and gloves to limit exposure.
The OCSO also wants to thank our citizens and visitors who are paying heed to the Governor’s emergency order and health care recommendations in an effort to enhance public safety. Please continue to stay abreast of developing guidance and adhere to CDC and Florida Health Department recommendations and guidelines.
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