September 25, 2020
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By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

Muleshoe Chief of Police Gary McHone said Muleshoe citizens have been cooperating with Phase 1 of the reopening of businesses and public places in Texas.
“All restaurants in town are opening back up in different stages with 25 to 50 percent capacity,” McHone said. “Parks and playgrounds are open, not baseball fields or sporting events, but for personal use by individuals or families. People are out in the parks.”
On Monday, May 18, Governor Greg Abbott announced the beginning of Phase 2. Child care facilities, hair, nail and massage salons, bingo parlors, bowling alleys, rodeos and aquariums were permitted to open. Other businesses will be phased in during May.
For information on state guidelines, go to https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas or visit City of Muleshoe Police Department on Facebook.
McHone said Bailey County has seven active COVID-19 cases with nine confirmed and two recovered. A total of 94 people have been tested. Updates are posted regularly on the City of Muleshoe Police Department Facebook site.
On Friday, May 15, Muleshoe High School held a public graduation ceremony following Texas guidelines for social distancing and sanitizing, reportedly one of the first high schools in the state to do so.
“It went great and was over quickly without incident,” McHone said. “Some of our off-duty officers helped with traffic control, and it went very well.”
The police department has been doing daily operational temperature checks, and officers are wearing personal protective equipment.
“Fortunately, we’ve had no high risk exposures,” McHone said. “We encourage officers to wear PPE off duty, and we encourage everybody to do the same, to wear masks wherever there are many people.”
McHone said the police appreciate efforts such as social distancing, not going out except when necessary and robust sanitizing.
“Now that we’re starting to open back up, we need to work together that much more,” he said.
McHone has been meeting weekly with the communications committee, including city, county and EMS representatives, for 10 weeks.
“We meet in small groups, and have a lot of Zoom meetings. We evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and what we’re doing in terms of that until we have some closure to it,” he said. “That may be quite some time.”
For now, many of the department’s community outreach programs such as UNIDOS, Coffee with a Cop and Citizens Police Academy have been put on hold. National Night Out, usually held in October, will be evaluated as the time draws closer.
A video ceremony was held during National Police Week, which began May 11. National Police Week recognizes all law enforcement officials who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In 2020, 72 U.S. officers were killed in the line of duty. Eighteen were from Texas.
The Facebook post says, “Our hearts go out to each and every community, family, friend and department that has lost a fellow officer. We would like to remind you that you aren’t alone, we all stand together.”
National Police Week has been taking place since 1962. To learn more about the men and women who were honored, go to https://bit.ly/35ToOBw.

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