Though much has changed in the past month due to COVID-19 and the governor’s “Stay At Home” order, the pace or work for the Pine County Sheriff’s Office in Pine City remains steady, according to Pine County Deputy Colin Waddle.

Waddle gave his report to the Pine City Council on April 2 through an online meeting app. He said that many calls come from incidents at Walmart, and that deputies have increased the number of after-hours business checks they do. 

“Driving by, checking doors, just looking for anything that looks out of the ordinary,” Waddle said. 

He said they were pursuing leads regarding the recent burglary of Chubby’s restaurant and a property in the Pine City industrial park. 

Waddle said that they are still following up on investigations and doing business checks, but they too are trying to do social distancing.

“We’re just trying to stick to the mission that the sheriff has set for us during the time of the pandemic,” Waddle said. “Trying to handle as much as we can over the phone, but if we need to take action in person we go take action in person.”

Council Member Mary Kay Sloan noted that she sometimes sees young people gathered together, and said that she has concerns about them doing so during the COVID-19 “Stay At Home” executive order. 

“Do you ever stop and talk to them about social distancing, and just try to educate them a little bit?” she asked. 

Waddle said they were. 

“We’re trying to make as much contact as necessary as far as playgrounds and stuff like that,” he said. “We’ll stop and talk to them and send them on their way.”

He said they don’t do that to everyone they see on the streets during this time. 

“There’s a lot of people who don’t appreciate it, believe it or not, when the cops just randomly stop up and talk to them,” he said. “But we definitely try our best to make it known that this is going on and this is what’s expected.”

“I just don’t think they understand the seriousness of it, maybe,” Sloan said. 

“It’s definitely a ... serious conversation that needs to be had,” Waddle responded. 

To report a concern about the stay at home order call 651-793-3746 or email sahviolations@state.mn.us.

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