Covid-19 Affects County Law Enforcement

Sheriff Mark Empting presents his department’s annual report to the Clay County Commission.

Sheriff Mark Empting opened his annual presentation to the Clay County Commission this week by remarking, “We kind of had everything on cruise control going into 2020 up until the end of March when Covid-19 hit. Then we had to determine and figure out how to police during a pandemic.” Providing an example, he continued, “In the patrol division, we had to determine what we were going to do to keep our staff safe and the community safe while we were out there dealing with them.”

Adjustments made included no longer doing animal calls which require transporting animals in cars that humans also use. Now an officer meets the citizen at the FM Animal Hospital for animal impoundment. If possible, calls for service were handled over the phone. Medical calls for service that indicated possible Covid-19 involvement were not responded to by law enforcement unless there was an immediate crisis. Area rescue squads and ambulance services were notified that county law enforcement would respond upon request.

Clay County Law Enforcement Statistical Information for 2020:

· 5 homicides

· 5 assaults being charged as attempted murder

Clay County Narcotics Investigation  

-Led 23 investigations

· -7 investigations extended to federal level

· Removed several pounds of illegal drugs from Clay County

Records Division:

· Permit to purchase: 217 (141 in 2019)

· Permit to carry: 950 (410 in 2019)

Warrants and Transfers Division:

· 512 transfers (796 in 2019)

· Chemical dependency transports: 81 (84 in 2019)

· 71 transfers to state penitentiary

·  64,315 miles (93,080 in 2019)

Civil Division;

· Served 1399 papers

· Served 439 summonses

· Served 314 subpoenas

Patrol Division:

· Calls for Service or Self-initiated Activity:  16,881 (15,933 in 2019)

· Vehicle pursuits: 55 (32 in 2019)

·  Stop sticks deployed: 20 times (10 times in 2019)

· 67 DUI

· 42 incidents where canine was used

· 1 apprehension where canine was used

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