Columbia County Sheriff talks about how his department is coping with the coronavirus

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GREENPORT, N.Y. (NEWS10)–Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett has made adjustments to how his department operates under these trying times. Bartlett has cut hours for his staff, closed the jail to visitors, and assigned deputies to work out of satellite stations in Valatie, Chatham and Germantown. He has done this all to minimize the exposure for his deputies.

Columbia County Sheriffs car at the Germantown town hall, March 19, 2020

As of noon Thursday there were no reports of any infected people in Columbia County but the Sheriff understands that its a matter of time. The state sent 75 cases of much-needed hand sanitizer but Sheriff Bartlett says they are short on N95 masks.

Bartlett says that his deputies are still going out on calls but they have made changes to how they do that. Non-emergence calls are now handled over the phone, the road patrol officers are still out doing their job with the new social distancing rules. Bartlett is concerned that there may be transfer from the documents you would hand over to the deputy so you might get a warning when you get pulled over, instead of a ticket.

There are no pistol permit applications being taken at this time, FOIL requests are taken over the phone for now and evictions have been suspended.

All of his jail programs are still up and running for now but if it gets worse things, of course, will have to change, he says.

Sheriff Bartlett says that this is an ever-changing situation, not day to day but more hour to hour.

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