Home State/Regional News Sierra County Sheriff deputizes 20 churchgoers amid pandemic

Sierra County Sheriff deputizes 20 churchgoers amid pandemic

4 min read

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A rural county sheriff in New Mexico has deputized about 20 church members at an in-person church service, working around Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health order designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Sierra County Sheriff Glenn Hamilton said it’s about recruiting help and preparing for the worst but he also noted that law enforcement is exempt from the governor’s stay-at-home order, meaning people can now attend future services, KOB-TV reported.

Sierra County, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) south of Albuquerque, is one of many rural counties that often use law enforcement volunteers since there are not enough deputies to cover the territory.

“Should riot conditions start existing, should civil disobedience, it could be everything from crowd control measures to as simple as administrative staff duties,” Hamilton said. “They wouldn’t be engaged in actual law enforcement duties per se unless the individual is maybe retired law enforcement.”

Hamilton has extended the deputization offer to all churches in Sierra County and expects more to sign up.

Those special deputies have no authority until Hamilton calls them into service. That has not happened yet.

There has been one case of COVID-19 in Sierra County so far.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

“She didn’t open our communities she didn’t’ open our businesses,” Hamilton said. “I’m not in any way shape or form attempting to minimize the impact that that’s had on our state on their friends and on their families, but the reality, folks, is that we’re all going to die.”

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Hobbs News-Sun
Load More In State/Regional News
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Afghan man charged in killings of Muslims in New Mexico

Afghan man charged in killings of Muslims in New Mexico By STEFANIE DAZIO and MARIAM FAM A…