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Bossier Sheriff outlines changes in place in response to coronavirus emergency

Coronavirus

BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington has announced an update on the impact of services of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Below is a breakdown of services that will be affected and changes in operations with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office in order to keep deputies, staff, Posse and the public safe:

Jail/Corrections:

  • All deputies and staff members will be screened daily before entering the facility by having their body temperature taken.
  • All inmates upon booking will be isolated until they receive a medical screening by Corrections medical staff. 
  • Video visitation will continue as usual.
  • Visits by religious volunteers are suspended at this time.
  • Visits by attorneys will continue, but without physical contact.

Substations:

  • ART and Viking Drive Substations remain open with normal business hours
  • Sheriff Whittington has re-opened the Drive-thru service at the back of the Criminal Building, located at 196 Burt Blvd., to allow patrons to pay fines, tickets, and taxes in a non-face-to-face transaction.

Training Facility:

  • Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Training Academy continues to train recruits, but has moved into a bigger classroom with more space between recruits, while also sanitizing the classrooms daily.
  • All staff members, recruits and training participants entering the academy building will be screened prior to entry by having the temperature taken.
  • Graduation for Class 022 is scheduled for April 24, but that may be adjusted based on circumstances at that time.

Youth Programs:

  • Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines and Youth Diversion programs are temporarily suspended.

School Resource Officers:

  • SROs will continue to work at schools where the food delivery is being conducted. 

Operation Blessing Food Bank Program:

  • The Food Bank program will operate normal hours by the Sheriff’s Office Posse and Ladies’ Auxiliary, with one exception: In order to minimize face-to-face interaction, volunteers will meet the patrons outside to deliver the food.

Human Resources/Testing:

  • Employment testing scheduled for March 20 has been postponed; applicants will be notified of the next testing availability. 

Bossier Sheriff’s Office Conference Calls:

  • Sheriff Whittington initiated a system to conduct conference calls for employees at the Bossier Sheriff’s Office in order to reduce face-to-face meetings.

Bossier Parish Courthouse:

  • The courthouse will remain open, according to the Bossier Parish Police Jury…but with some changes, as precautions are being taken to safeguard employees and persons who must come to the courthouse.
  • In compliance with the General Order by the 26th Judicial District Court encompassing Bossier and Webster parishes, a General Order has been issued affecting court activities.  Beginning March 19 at 8 a.m. and continuing through 5 p.m. Friday, April 10, the General Order mandates that all jury trials, both civil and criminal, will be continued and will be reconvened by Order.
  • All grand jury proceedings in the 26th Judicial District are continued and will be reset by Order. All criminal trials, hearings and court appearances will be continued and will be reset by Order or notice from the District Attorney. Exceptions include initial appearances (72 hour hearings), arraignments for incarcerated persons only and bond hearings.
  • All hearings for incarcerated individuals will be via video unless otherwise directed by the Court.
  • Bossier Parish Police Jury maintenance workers are disinfecting common areas (bathrooms, hallways, etc.) and offices daily. Offices have been supplied with sanitary handwipes and hand sanitizer for both employee and public use.
  • Parish officials have asked that no large groups of individuals visit the courthouse until further notice, and suggest that persons use their phones, the parish web site and other social media to conduct business they may have with the parish.
  • Anyone concerned about an upcoming court appearance may call the Bossier Sheriff’s Office at (318) 965-3411 for assistance. 

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