Jail will limit intakes to serious crimes

NEWPORT — In a measure to reduce opportunities for COVID-19 exposure to employees and citizens, effective immediately, the Lincoln County Jail will only accept arrestees for serious crimes and individuals who pose an extreme risk to the community. All other individuals suspected of committing crimes will be cited and released to appear in court.

Pretrial specialists will assist in monitoring individuals who are cited to reduce their risk of reoffending. Offenders will continue to be held accountable for their actions regardless of these changes. This precaution is being taken to limit the opportunity for COVID-19 to enter the facility, which could cause devastating effects to deputies and other adults in custody.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division will also take safety measures to reduce the risk of exposure. Patrol deputies will continue to respond to emergency calls and situations that jeopardize public safety and will continue patrolling communities and roadways. They will use other means of communication such as phone or online reporting for non-emergent calls that do not require an in-person response.

The animal shelter will be temporarily reduce in-person services at the facility. Dog owners are encouraged to license their pets via mail or can call the shelter directly at 541-265-6610. The license application may be downloaded from the animal shelter website at www.lincolncountyanimalshelter.org. Owner surrender and adoption services will be temporarily postponed. Animal Services deputies will continue to respond to calls for service in the community. They too will use other means of communication to limit in-person contact.

Additionally, LCSO will postpone facility tours, deputy ride-a-longs and other office events for one month. Concealed handgun licensing appointments set during this time will be rescheduled, as will appointments for fingerprinting services. Citizens who have already scheduled an appointment for one or more of these services will be contacted in the near future to reschedule.

All service limitations mentioned above will be reevaluated no later than April 15. Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office.