MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office announced the formation of a new “Help Team,” geared towards helping the community and at-risk individuals.

The team consists of 15 deputy and civilian employees, who will respond to needs not typically associated with police calls. These needs could include pick-up and delivery of prescription medication, pre-paid food, or groceries. The team can also deliver donations. Lastly, they can provide referrals for social services, financial assistance, medical aid, and mental health needs.

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“Coronavirus has affected all of us,” said Bob Fletcher, Ramsey County sheriff. “Times like this can bring a lot of uncertainty and leave people wondering where to turn for help. Our Help Team will help fill that void.”

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The group, led by Undersheriff Bill Finney and Inspector Chy Nou Lee is active from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The phone number – which is accessible through call and text – is 651-448-3874. The email address for the team is HelpTeam@co.ramsey.mn.us.

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This help team, however, is not a replacement for calling 911. Always call 911 for emergencies, or when immediate law enforcement services are needed.