HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Protecting the community while also protecting themselves. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office has had to make a lot of changes because of COVID-19, especially after multiple deputies tested positive.
Being in the line of duty oftentimes means social distancing is not an option, according to Morgan County’s public information officer, Mike Swafford.
“Law enforcement and corrections are a close quarter game. We don’t get the luxury of telling them to put their own handcuffs on,” Swafford said. “So sometimes we have to touch and get to put their handcuffs on and get them to comply.”
So instead, Swafford said his department focuses on prevention.
Swafford said they’re often armed with hand sanitizer, masks, and PPE, whether they are out on patrol, or even in their jail system.
“That when people come into booking and are getting processed in they step in and take temperatures, check symptoms, medical history,” Swafford said. “So those types of things we do on the forefront to keep it out of the jail.”
Swafford tells our crew so far five people in total have tested positive, both deputies and administrative staff. He said since then all five have returned to work.
Swafford said medical professionals check out each inmate once they’re booked. “Currently they do not wear masks inside the jail, but what we do is look for symptoms and temperature checks,” he said. “So far we have not had anyone with symptoms that lead us to believe they had COVID-19.”
Swafford noted no inmate has tested positive for the virus.