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Law enforcement adapt to COVID-19

Trust being developed for officer’s daughter

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LAKE COUNTY – Lake County Sheriff Don Bell is adjusting procedures in an effort to protect citizens and law enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Deputies are putting in extra time on patrol and attempting to limit in-person contact. “Our deputies continue to respond to and make arrests on in-progress and major incidents, but on less severe or not in-progress calls or civil matters, they have been encouraged to utilize the phone or other means,” Bell said.

Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive to close all non-essential facilities in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Bell has been working with businesses regarding the directive.   

“Our deputies have been collaborating with local businesses to discuss security measures, whether they are open or closed,” Bell said. “We are also conducting extra patrols for locations that are considered more vulnerable at this time.” 

Issuing concealed weapons permits has been another challenge. “The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is actively adjusting procedures to resume concealed weapon issuance in the very near future,” Bell said. “We are still figuring out the details but most of the applications will be conducted by mail or internet.” 

The Sheriff’s Office is thanking the public for support while they grieve for the loss of a co-worker. Deputy Ross Holcomb, 32, of Ronan was found deceased in his home on April 4. Bell said a preliminary investigation suggests that the officer died by suicide. Holcomb was a combat veteran for the United States Marine Corps and had served the Sheriff’s Office since 2017.

“We wish to thank the many people who have expressed their condolences and to those who have provided food and cards,” Bell said. 

The Lake County Deputy Sheriff’s Association is developing a trust for Holcomb’s nine-year-old daughter. More details about the trust will soon be available.  

 

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