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April 4, 2020

3/18/2020 1:59:00 PM
Jail takes safety measures
Law enforcement officials are working to reduce the number of inmates at the Jennings County Jail in response to the coronavirus outbreak crisis.

Both Jennings County Sheriff's deputies and North Vernon Police Department officers are not bringing suspects to the jail who have been arrested for low-level offenses. (See related story on page 5A.)

On Monday, Sheriff Kenny Freeman stopped visitation at the jail and closed the sheriff's office lobby. This will be in effect until further notice.

There is not much the staff can do to limit public spacing among inmates, admitted Maj. David Turner, chief deputy.
"We are taking all the precautions we can," Turner said. "We we have a quarantine plan in place, too."

As of Wednesday morning, 160 inmates were incarcerated in the jail.

According to Turner, all deputies, administrative staff, jailers, cooks and maintenance workers are getting their temperature taken when they enter at the start of their shifts, in the middle of their shifts and before they leave at the end of their shifts.

"We are still taking calls, still going out to do police business such as checking on reports or erratic drivers," Turner said. "But we have suspended doing VIN (vehicle inspection number) checks and going to deer vs. vehicle accidents. A lot of this can be done over the phone."

There is a phone in the sheriff's office vestibule with directions in the event people need assistance such as paying a bond to bail out an inmate. People can still deposit money in an inmate's commissary account by visiting jailatm.com.

Turner also asked people who put posts on the sheriff's office Facebook page to make sure their information is accurate. In recent days people have posted items about a curfew in Jennings, Louisiana, and a coronavirus case in Jackson County, Mich., thinking they are Indiana cases.

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