Police remain vigilant and visible during coronavirus crisiswebmaster April 8, 2020 0 COMMENTS
By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent
The way that America works has changed since the advent of the coronavirus. People are sheltering in place, avoiding large groups, washing their hands, sanitizing their tools and working from home.
The police encourage and practice these tactics. But part of their job is to be available and visible to citizens.
“We can’t work from home, we can’t work remotely, so we’ve gotta be out there in the community,” said Muleshoe Chief of Police Gary McHone. “We want to be out there, to be proactive and be seen.”
McHone says that so far there has been no notable change in the crime rate. However, he warns citizens to be mindful of fraud attempts.
“There are people trying to scam folks out of money during the coronavirus crisis,” he said. “There have been attempts at credit card theft and phishing, folks trying to exploit an already bad situation.”
On March 18, the city of Muleshoe issued a declaration of a local state of disaster due to the public health emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. In a Muleshoe City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 24, the council extended the declaration.
The amended declaration gives local law enforcement authority to enforce compliance. This can include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or jail time of up to 180 days.
“Gatherings at functions are limited to no more than 10 people. This does not apply to churches, but if shelter in place is ordered, then it would apply to churches and non-essential businesses,” McHone said. “We’re not there yet, but the situation is rapidly changing.
“Most folks in Muleshoe are concerned about coronavirus. Public safety personnel are trained to respond in a crisis. This situation is new and rapidly developing, new to all of us. We’re taking steps in the emergency management/education community, taking all the necessary steps to keep everyone healthy and safe.”
The public can follow Muleshoe Police Department as they monitor the situation and communicate with Texas Department of Emergency Management.
“They are a resource for supplies, for anything of the mission critical type of equipment,” McHone said. “People can stay informed through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media avenues. Information is also available on 211.org, and our area number, 877-541-7905, has regular, updated information about the coronavirus.
“We are in this together and we will make it through this time of uncertainty.”