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.

“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.”

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.

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