Lake County sheriff says use COVID-19 website, not 911, to make complaints

A website that allows Lake County residents to report possible violations of the statewide stay-at-home order was launched by the sheriff's office to allow 911 dispatchers to deal with more critical issues, officials clarified Tuesday.

The site can be found at It went live in March.

Lake County Board Chairwoman Sandy Hart addressed the site during Tuesday's board meeting, which was held remotely because of that statewide safety order.

The reporting site was created, Hart said, to steer callers complaining about COVID-19 issues away from 911 dispatchers.

Hart's remarks were in response to criticism and misinformation about the site some residents and politicians had shared on social media. Public comments blasting the website and incorrectly blaming the county board for its creation also were read into the record at the start of Tuesday's meeting.

The sheriff's office explained why the site was created in a Facebook post Tuesday, too.

"The main reason we did this is because our dispatchers were becoming inundated with calls from the community about possible (stay-at-home) violations," the post reads. "Instead of spending several minutes on the telephone with someone regarding a possible governor's order violation, we could reroute those calls to the online form, thus leaving our dispatchers available to take emergency and high-priority calls."

The sheriff's office long has allowed people to make complaints about suspected criminal activity online, Hart and the sheriff's office noted.

So far, the sheriff's office has issued no tickets based on the complaints made through the website, Hart said. Rather, deputies have issued reminders about the stay-at-home order and warnings, Hart said.

Many complaints were deemed to be unfounded, she added.

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