LOGAN — Worries surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have influenced local agencies to limit public interactions. The Logan Police Department will be doing that by closing its lobby to the public, while still conducting policing operations as usual.
According to Capt. Ryan Gabriel with the Logan Police Department, the law enforcement agency’s building, located along South Mulberry Street, will be closing its lobby for the foreseeable future. The department also noted that access to the Municipal Building will be closed until further notice.
According to the Police Department, the move to close public access to the lobby was done after an order by Logan Mayor Greg Fraunfelter was issued. The order was announced after a “dramatic” increase of COVID-19 cases was reported to the Hocking County Health Department.
The police department stated that entrance into the building will be allowed but by appointment only.
Captain Gabriel said that the mayor consulted with other city department heads prior to issuing the order. Both the county and the city have been issuing public interaction limits. Recently, the Hocking County Municipal Courthouse along with the Hocking County Commissioners set limits into people coming into local government buildings.
“This was just a way to cut down on the exposure risk,” Captain Gabriel told The Logan Daily News.
The captain commented that while public access to the department’s facility is limited, policing and other agency operations will continue as normal. Officers are still out on the road, interacting with community members, taking reports and arresting individuals.
“Nothing has changed with our operations other than limiting access into the lobby right now,” Gabriel explained. “Nothing else has changed at all.”
If local residents require access to public records, the police department will work with them to get them what they need. Individuals can call the dispatch number for the agency at 740-385-6866 and request to speak with the clerk.
As the public health climate continues in an emergency, police officers are remaining cautious when interacting with members of the community. The captain noted that officers are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when possible as they conduct regular policing.
“We are encouraging [PPE] because of the spread,” Gabriel said.
The captain added that during the holiday season, traffic becomes more congested. While the pandemic may interfere with plans to celebrate, he advised that locals remain safe when traveling this winter.
“Just be a defensive driver, wear your seat belt, take care of your family and we’ll have a happy turkey day,” Gabriel stated.