by E. E. Mullens
HUERFANO COUNTY— Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman has announced that visits with inmates at the county jail have been suspended until further notice in light of precautions to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19
The no-visit policy has now been in effect for over a week.
The sheriff also said deputies will not automatically respond to ambulance calls for service, which, in the past, has been a fairly routine practice when deputies have not otherwise been engaged in other calls for service.
Newman said, on a case-by-case basis, deputies may issue summons to individuals as opposed to making custody arrests, and, in addition, a number of inmates or new arrestees may be allowed personal recognizance bonds on arrest charges to help keep jail population numbers down.
Additionally the sheriff’s office is asking citizens to conduct all sheriff’s office business with them via email or phone calls.
The office will also be placing a drop box outside the secured front door to allow citizens who wish to place money in an inmate’s concession account to do so without having to come inside the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Newman said in his quarterly meeting with the Walsenburg City Council last week that all precautions possible are being taken by staff to minimize the possibility of COVID-19 infection at the jail.
As of Tuesday, March 24, the inmate count at the Huerfano County Jail was 14, with two new overnight arrests.
Not all charges may be eligible for immediate release via PR bonds or summons:
On Monday, March 23, two individuals were arrested and taken into custody on numerous charges on active arrest warrants.
Jesse Vialpando, 33, was arrested on active warrants charging unlawful distribution/manufacturing/dispensing/sale and/or possession of a controlled substance; possession of controlled substance, and three other warrants alleging criminal trespass and burglary.
Devin Pino, 27, was also arrested on three active warrants alleging possession of a controlled substance, introducing contraband in the first degree, violation of bail bond conditions and theft.