Douglas County deputies to respond to high-priority calls only; other changes made to law-enforcement services

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department is changing how they respond to calls starting.


The goal is to keep first responders safe. It's a tactic similar to the one Omaha Police announced on Friday.

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In the past, deputies would respond to every call in the county. But starting Wednesday, deputies will only respond to high-priority calls. Lower priority calls will go a 24/7 staffed hotline.

In the past deputies would respond to every call in the county. Starting on Wednesday, deputies will only respond to high priority calls.

Lower priority calls will go to a 24/7 staffed telephone hotline.

"That’s so we can reduce the amount of face to face contact our deputies have with the public. Another thing that we are going to be asking the public to do is in certain cases when they call 911 and we are responding, we are going to ask the public to come outside of their homes and meet the deputy outside," said Capt. Wayne Hudson, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Hudson said the measures are intended to minimize the exposure of deputies possibly catching the coronavirus when answering calls. Hudson added that in some cases the caller will be given a mask to wear when they speak with a deputy.

During some calls, those requesting assistance may have to meet deputies outside their residence, according to the DSCO release.

Changes at main office

  • Access to the main office at 3601 N. 156th St. is restricted.
  • No public fingerprinting services until further notice.
  • Applications for handgun purchase permits, along with typed instructions, can be picked up in the lobby vestibule and mailed back along with $5 payment. None will be done in person.
  • Ride-along and facility tours are cancelled until further notice.
  • Sex-offender registry is still taking place as scheduled.
  • Citizens needing to retrieve property from the DCSO Property & Evidence Division must make an appointment by callling 402-444-6824 .

Visits limited

DCSO is asking the public to limit visits to the Douglas County Courthouse and Omaha Douglas Civic Center to only official and necessary business. Similarly, the Forensic Services Bureau at 15345 W. Maple Road will not be offering job shadowing or lab tours for the time being.

Title inspection procedure

Motorists must stay in their vehicles during inspections at 8338 Chicago St., rolling their windows down only far enough to pass paperwork and payments to inspectors. Cash and checks only; credit cards will not be accpted until further notice.

Gun permits

Handgun permit applications will not be accepted in person at this time. Residents can pick up permits in the lobby of the Records and Civil Process Divisions at 1616 Leavenworth St., then mail them back with the $5 included.