Itemizer-Observer

DALLAS — Sheriff Mark Garton asked for the public’s help in a Facebook Live event on the PCSO Facebook last Wednesday. And the public responded.

Distribution was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday, but people lined up early and by that time Garton and Deputy Casey Gibson had handed out all 160 kits.

Each kit contained materials to make three masks.

“The way the process works for emergency management is all these different private nonprofit groups, anything like that, they submit requests into Polk County Emergency Management and then we try to fill them the best we can,” Garton said. “We’ve sent out thousands of PPEs all over the county. Those are running low.”

Garton said they are not sure when they are going to get more from the state or federal government.

“We’ve got to try to make do with what we have and we’re asking for help from the public,” he said. “If there is anything that you can donate, that would be much appreciated.”

Garton also addressed some comments viewers posted.

“One question was about toilet paper,” he said. “We don’t control the toilet paper. I know that the stores in here in Dallas have gotten them in on a regular basis, you’ve just got to be there.”

He said one way to know which stores have toilet paper is to check community groups on Facebook.

“I’ve been told that supply will end up catching up, it’s just going to be a while,” Garton said. “Take what you need from a store, don’t hoard. Don’t hoard food or supplies like that. It hurts everyone else who’s trying to get those things as well.”

Garton also encouraged people to exercise.

“You can go out, exercise outdoors,” he said. “Just make sure you keep your social distancing because that is really about slowing the spread. Do everything you can. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.

“I think I’ve already done it a couple of times during this video. Need to wash my hands before and after,” he added.

Masks will be available to people who need them, he said.

“We’ve never done this before, so we’ll keep trying different ways to reach out to you and figure out if there’s things you guys need,” Garton said. “I know the uncertainty of this situation is stressful.”

One way Garton and his deputies plan to help out is by posting videos of themselves reading children’s books.

They started recording last week and anticipate having at least one video up this week on their Facebook page.

Click here to watch "Short Stories with the Sheriff."

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