Jamie Luffman

The Mt. Juliet Police Department has closed its headquarters until Jan. 11 after a rise in COVID-19 cases across Tennessee and four department employees testing positive for the virus.

Monday, a fifth MJPD employee had shown symptoms of the virus, was tested and is awaiting results in quarantine. Patrols will continue as normal, according to MJPD Cpt. Tyler Chandler.

The Fire Department of Mt. Juliet has stopped goodwill visits after two employees tested positive for COVID-19, quarantined and are now back on the job.

MJPD also announced that its records office is closed indefinitely.

“Tennessee is experiencing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases, and just today, five members of our department have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms and are awaiting results,” MJPD Chief James Hambrick said last Sunday. “I continue to strongly encourage everyone to take precautions to limit the spread of the virus. While taking precautions within the department, the Mt. Juliet dedicated police officers and staff continue to work hard to keep our community safe.”

According to Chandler, anyone who needs to report a crime should call the police department at (615) 754-2550 to see if an officer can assist over the phone instead of in person.

Reports for incidents such as lost property, destruction of property, civil disputes, financial crimes, theft, alcohol violations, or harassing calls and emails can be filed online on the department’s website.

Chandler said the records and court clerk offices are closed to the public until further notice, and, there will be no traffic court during the closure with traffic school instruction online. Also, citation payment due dates are on hold until further notice. Payments can also be made online.

Chandler said patrols will maintain minimum staff levels, all officers will wear masks in public and all employees are fever checked.

Law enforcement employees are on the CDC’s priority list to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are hopeful and told we will receive the vaccine in the next two weeks,” said Chandler.

FDMJ Chief Jamie Luffman said his department has had two employees who tested positive for COVID-19.

“We haven’t had critical numbers,” he said. “Two tested positive and we followed all CDC guidelines. They were quarantined, were cleared and are back on the job. They are fine and were not in the high-risk category.”

Luffman said all employees are tested for a fever before every shift.

He said their stations are closed to public visits and visits from family members.

“It’s tough this time of year,” he said. “Citizens want to drop off goodies or have their kids take a tour and such. These are written off this year.”

However, the stations remain available for walk-in emergency cases.

“If they come by and need to be treated for an emergency, we will of course,” he said.