Franklin County Commission declares a state of emergency; Sheriff announces policy changes

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 3/18/20

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, the Franklin County Commission has declared a state of emergency in Franklin County. This is an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The declaration …

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Franklin County Commission declares a state of emergency; Sheriff announces policy changes

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As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, the Franklin County Commission has declared a state of emergency in Franklin County. This is an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The declaration recognizes the virus as a significant risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of the people of the county.

It will be in effect until noon on April 17, unless rescinded or extended.

The declaration states in part, “(T)hat all are also called upon and directed to comply with necessary emergency measures, to cooperate with public officials, the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency as well as the Franklin County, Missouri Health Department in emergency operational plans, and to obey and comply with the lawful directions of properly identified public officers.”

County employees will initiate low-touch, low-contact services as much as possible.

The Franklin County Municipal Court will postpone and reschedule all dockets, hearings, trials and other proceedings during this time.

A copy of the declaration can be viewed on The Republican’s website, www.gasconadecountyrepublican.com.

Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton has announced changes within his department. His personnel are practicing increased distancing when working with the public.

Attorneys and probation and parole officers are using phones ti communicate with inmates. There is no direct contact with inmates allowed.

Personal visits with inmates by family members have also been suspended. These visits were never face to face, but by eliminating them, visitors will not congregate in the waiting area.

To help inmates and family/friends remain in contact with each other, the Homewav kiosks in the sheriff’s office lobby will be available at no cost.

Pelton noted family/friends can always use Homewav from their own electronic device for a fee and then there is no need to travel. The video visitation will be available 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days per week. Each inmate can have two video visits per week. To establish a video visit session you create an account at Homewav.com.

Finally, effective immediately, the Citizens Police Academy is postponed indefinitely.

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