Masks, gloves for Cumberland County deputies ‘seized by government,’ sheriff says

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Cumberland County residents likely will not see deputies wearing protective masks during the coronavirus crisis after a vendor told the sheriff a shipment was “seized by the government,” according to a news release from the sheriff Friday.

The news release noted that Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright had ordered N-95 masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in NC

“Under the leadership of Sheriff Wright, we have been working to leverage safety equipment to better serve the community,” the news release said.

However, the sheriff released an email from a vendor who was supposed to send the supplies. The vendor’s email said that the items would go to “hospitals and first responders that are in need of the PPE that is in a severe shortage.”

The vendor, who was not identified, said that the supplies destined for Cumberland County “were intercepted and seized by the government.”

The full email from the vendor via the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office states:

I hope your day has been well and not too chaotic. I hate to have to send this email, but I need to let you know that I was just notified that we are not able to supply the masks that you ordered. My boss was told by the vendor that all the masks that were sent to be shipped to our North Carolina warehouse were intercepted and seized by the Government and will be distributed to the hospitals and first responders that are in need of the PPE that is in a severe shortage. We asked if there are any other options and there are none at this time. I am so sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news on this. I feel horrible that I cannot supply the items that you ordered and am so disappointed as I am sure you are as well. I wanted to put this in an email format so that you have it to send up the chain to anyone else that needs to be notified. If there is anything else at all that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will keep you updated if anything else at all comes our way.

Unnamed vendor via Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office

Wright said that his deputies would continue to respond to calls.

“No matter how this pandemic progresses, Cumberland County deputies will remain on the front lines and will continue to carry out our duties protecting citizens.”

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