COVID-19 Forces Changes At Area Sheriff’s Offices

Northwest Iowa — Of course they will still be serving and protecting the public, but the county sheriff’s offices around northwest Iowa have made some changes to protect people from COVID-19.

At the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office in Primghar, they are asking the public’s assistance in limiting the potential exposure to their employees. The office will remain open to assist the public when necessary; however, they are asking that you call prior to going to the office. The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office is also suspending all inmate visitation at the O’Brien County Jail. They tell us that attorneys with clients at the O’Brien County Jail will not be allowed to use the legal room until further notice. Visits will be done in the attorney/client room via phone through a glass barrier.

At the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office in Orange City, they have closed their business office. All in-person sex offender registry and related issues are suspended indefinitely. Items that normally required an in-person appearance will now be handled via phone or email until further notice, according to a press release. They tell us that the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office weapon permit section has also been closed until further notice. Because of this closure, you may experience some delays in the processing of your permit. They say your current permit is valid for 30 days past the expiration date and will become invalid after that date. Sioux County Sheriff personnel say they will make every effort to process your permit as soon as possible after they reopen. All family/inmate visits at the jail remain suspended until further notice. Also, all non-criminal (civil) issues will be handled by phone or email and all non-criminal fingerprinting requests are suspended while the Business Office is closed. All civil process will be prioritized and served only in emergent or high priority situations as determined by the Sheriff.

In Osceola County, their Sheriff’s Office remains open, but for just about everything, you’ll have to talk through the glass. They say anyone coming in will have their temperature taken, and that applies to inmates and staff as well. No jail visitors are being allowed. If you need to serve time, they will be issuing extensions for the time being. Gun permits are still being handled but will have to be through the glass. They will continue to do fingerprinting in urgent situations but would prefer that you wait. For changes to the sex offender registry, they ask you to call and alternate arrangements will be made. They will continue to serve civil papers as usual.

At the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in Rock Rapids, according to a statement released by Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep, until further notice, to reduce exposure to the staff, they are asking everyone that not to enter the Sheriff’s Office unless your visit is necessary. They will be limiting the hours to purchase a gun permit. For the next two weeks, gun permits will be available on Saturday, March 21st and Saturday, March 28th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Lyon County deputies and jailers are suspending all fingerprinting until further notice. Sex offender registry questions should be directed to Deputy Nyron Moore at 712-400-9705. If you do come to the Sheriff’s office, Vander Stoep tells us you will be asked to wash your hands thoroughly before conducting any business with any of the staff.



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