HELENA — Earlier this week, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton told MTN about the steps his office was taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He said they were in need of more personal protective equipment, particularly for inside the county detention center.
Since then, several local individuals and businesses have stepped up to help. Dutton said Kit Johnson, of Kit’s Tackle, and an employee with Home Depot donated several dozen N95 masks. The Helena Kiwanis donated several hundred pairs of disposable nitrile gloves.
Dutton said he’s grateful for the community support – especially at a time that has been difficult for everyone.
“That’s true citizenship,” he said. “They’re suffering, their businesses are closed, but yet, they’ve reached into their pocket and said, ‘We want to help, we want to help keep the first responders safe.’ I tell you, we really appreciate that.”
The sheriff’s office will use the masks inside the jail, to cover someone’s face if they show possible COVID-19 symptoms. Both detention officers and patrol deputies are using gloves regularly as safety precautions.
“We are trying to flatten the curve along with everyone else, but there are some things we have no choice about, we have to respond,” said Dutton. “When those times happen, having the personal protective equipment is paramount.”
Dutton said Home Depot is expecting to get another shipment of protective equipment for first responders soon. He said his office has also considered working with local quilters to make washable and reusable masks.
Dutton encouraged Lewis and Clark County residents to continue supporting local businesses at this time.
“The money you spend here gets reused many times, and these people need our help,” he said.