Dear Editor,

We are living in unprecedented times. What we know today is completely different than what we knew yesterday, and it will all likely change tomorrow.

In attempt to create social distancing, I want to inform the citizens that effective Tuesday, March 17 at 11 a.m., I locked the lobby door at the sheriff’s office and jail. What does this mean? The directive I posted on the lobby door informs you that we will still serve your needs! The bad guys will still go to jail.

I’ve directed folks needing our services to call the office or jail. If using the intercom system outside the lobby door, a staff member will meet you outside in the fresh air. The only real difference is you will call or use the intercom and not be greeted by my secretary during the weekdays, normal business hours. This system is basically what we do now after normal business hours.

Public visitation with inmates has been temporarily suspended. For the safety of the public regarding COVID-19, this will also create social distancing in our lobby. Inmates will still be able to utilize the phone system.

I have tasked my deputies to do as much business as practical over the phone and via e-mail. We will continue responding to calls for service. Our duty to serve and protect will not stop. My staff will continue to do a thorough job performing their tasks.

I will also inform you that we have been dealing with a plumbing issue in our jail dorms. There have been broken PVC drain pipes located beneath the concrete floor. This has been an extensive process. We have the right people here as I type this letter repairing the problem.

Due to the plumbing issue, I closed the female housing dorm, and one male dorm. Our females are being housed in Van Wert County until the plumbing is fixed. All male prisoners are still in our facility.

Finally, I ask for your support and patience as we continue down this unknown journey. Do not get caught up in social media and rumors. Listen to and put your trust in what the professionals are telling you from the Center for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health. Take care of our elderly, your neighbors, your families and yourself.

God Bless,

Jason K. Landers, Sheriff