District attorney’s office closed to the public

Phone contact encouraged for victims, witnesses amid COVID-19 emergency
Tim Ryan

SHAWANO —The Shawano-Menominee County District Attorney’s office has been closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 health emergency.

The office is being restricted to staff and prosecutors for the time being.

“This has become necessary given the recommendations of the Shawano County Health Department and the recommendations of the Governor’s Office and CDC in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” District Attorney Greg Parker said in a notice issued by his office.

Anyone who is a victim or witness and who needs to contact the office is being asked to call 715-526-4608 and ask to speak to the victim/witness staff.

Anyone else with matters needing to be addressed by the district attorney’s office can call office staff at 715-526-2166.

“The District Attorney recognizes this is a public office, but due to national and state emergency declarations this protocol has been implemented to protect the staff’s health and limit a possible office quarantine while ensuring our obligation to protect the public during this pandemic,” Parker said in the notice. “I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but your patience is appreciated and needed as we all work together.”

Parker said in an interview Tuesday that the COVID-19 situation is slowing down the justice system.

“This is impeding the normal activities of the entire justice process to some extent,” he said.

Parker said other district attorneys’ offices statewide have also been closed off to the public.

“Because we play such a critical role in the justice process, if people in my office succumb to this particular virus there will be nobody to come here that I know of to continue to take care of the everyday affairs of the district attorney’s office,” Parker said.

He said that would cause huge problems for such things as drafting and reviewing cases to see whether criminal complaints should be filed, whether warrants should be executed and holding bond hearings.

Crime has not slowed down because of the virus, Parker noted.

“We’re still getting people in jail every day,” he said.

“I’m just trying to be proactive to make sure that as much as possible we can keep everybody healthy within this office so that we can continue our mission,” Parker said.