Local towns delay hearings, change police protocol

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Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

Local towns are responding Monday to the coronavirus pandemic by making many changes to their schedules and procedures.

Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox signed Monday a disaster declaration, which formally prohibits public and private community gatherings of 250 people or more. The city also recommends cancelling, rescheduling or not attending events with more than 50 people. Municipal Court for March 26 has been canceled, as has the Easter Egg Hunt, which was scheduled for April 4. The Kids Kastle Community Build project will be postponed, as will the Fire Department Open House, which was scheduled for April 11.

As of Monday, no one in Highland Village is being monitored for coronavirus infection, according to the city.

The Argyle Police Department announced Monday that it will be changing some of its response protocol to reduce the amount of contact officers have with residents to better comply with “social distancing.” Officers may call complainants on the phone, instead of responding in person, to “calls for service when there is no imminent threat to persons or property, or where the suspect(s) is no longer at the location.” When possible, officers may wear gloves or avoid handling drivers licenses or documents, and instead photograph them or write down the information. Residents are urged to report incidents by phone, not in-person at the police lobby.

Argyle police officers will continue to make routine patrols throughout the town, and they will respond in-person to reports of:

  • Sexual assault
  • Family disturbance
  • Disturbance involving violence or threat of violence
  • Theft, burglary and robbery in progress, just occurred or where evidence is present
  • Major crash with road blockage or injuries
  • Missing person
  • Class B and above assault
  • Fights
  • Injury to child/elderly/disabled
  • Intoxicated driver or person
  • Welfare concern
  • In-progress call with potential of risk to life or safety, such as shots heard or a suicidal person

Denton County Clerk passport services are temporarily suspended until at least April 6. Denton County Juvenile Court hearings set for Monday have been rescheduled for April 27. Hearings set for Wednesday have been rescheduled for May 27. All hearings in Denton County Criminal Court 2 that were scheduled from March 16-31 are being reset. New court dates will be sent to attorneys and defendants. Also, the Cross Roads and Flower Mound Tax Office locations are temporarily closed.

The Town of Bartonville Municipal Court has rescheduled its proceedings that were originally scheduled for Monday. They will be held on April 13. Also, in-person Municipal Court proceedings have also been suspended until April 1. The town says that most citations can be resolved via phone at 817-693-5280 or email at [email protected]

The town of Copper Canyon announced Sunday that for at least the next two weeks, no public meetings will be held, and the town is encouraging residents to conduct business with town staff via phone calls and emails rather than in person.

The city of Roanoke announced Monday night that it is making several changes through March 29, including rescheduling Municipal Court dockets scheduled for March 24, 26 and April 7 to a later date. The Roanoke Public Library, Visitor’s Center Recreation Center and Community/Senior Center are closed through March 29. Roanoke’s EggaPalooza, scheduled for April 4, and the Roanoke Roundup, scheduled for May 2, have been canceled. Evenings on Oak Street Spring concert series and the Roanoke Farmers Market are postponed. Private events have been canceled through the first week of June.

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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