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Social distancing also impacting law enforcement

Bingham County deputy in training
A Bingham County deputy in training during a small exercise on Wednesday.

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The coronavirus pandemic seems to be impacting us in different ways almost every day.

Gov. Brad Little's state-wide stay-home order doesn't include essential services like law enforcement, but agencies are still feeling the effects of social distancing.

"We've closed all of our training down," Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland said. "We were supposed to do a raid and shoot this week, we shut that down. We're not doing any in-house training right now."

Currently, Rowland is focused on keeping his deputies and the public safe.

"It's all trying to keep the patrol guys out of the office," he said. "Try and limit contact with the public as much as possible. Obviously, we can't say we're not gonna contact the public, but any non-essential calls we can do over the phone."

Still, Rowland let one limited training engagement run on Wednesday morning.

"We've trained every week with our dogs, either on drug-sniffing or apprehension. The dog we were training with, in the video on Facebook, was our bite dog and we've been having some problems with him wanting to bite females."

According to the sheriff, the dog wouldn't bite women. After training with a female deputy Wednesday, the sheriff says the K-9 will bite anybody. 

Since the stay-home order has been announced, lots of people have been calling the Bingham County Sheriff's Office for all sorts of things. Most aren't emergencies.

"We're not going to be out there actively stopping people for driving down the road, that not what we're here about," Rowland said.

"We just want people to be safe, we want them to practice the social distancing and stop calling 9-1-1 and asking if the roads are closed because that's an emergency line and we just need people to practice what the governor is trying to do."

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