Ocala police headquarters temporarily closes lobby due to COVID

Signs from the street and signs from the lot make it clear. 

The Ocala Police Department station is temporarily closed. 

"You never know who’s going to come through the doors. There’s always people coming in," said Ocala Police Public Information Officer Jeff Walczak.

That’s why Walczak says the department decided to lock its doors as a means to reduce human interaction and the spread of COVID-19. 

"A lot of our officers do wear masks when they go out in the community, but this is just one measure that we can do that as an agency to try to limit some of that contact," he said.

For now, until COVID numbers go down, an outside phone is available for anyone who needs to speak with an officer. 

The drive-thru is open for record requests or dropping off worn American flags, and people can always file a report online.

"It’s insane. At least they’re doing some kind of preventative measure to keep it safe because they are interacting with us on a regular basis," said Shane Intihar, who lives in Ocala.

But when FOX 35 pulled up to the station, we found one woman who was waiting in the heat to speak with some detectives. 

She told us off camera she was frustrated and so were others we spoke to. 

"I’m a school teacher so we all have to go to work and we all have to protect ourselves. I guess they’re worried about their safety, but we all are," said Dana Armstrong, who lives in Ocala.