Arizona is has entered unchartered territory with the Governor’s Stay-At-Home order that went into effect Tuesday evening. Many are asking what that means for enforcing the new order.
Enforcing Arizona’s stay-at-home executive order is going to be a learn as they go for Phoenix police officers and other law enforcement agencies.
“We need a little bit more clarification from the lawyers to tell us what we can do and I think the governor’s orders stated that,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said Tuesday an interview, who has been in direct contact with the governor’s office.
While the stay-at-home order has been initiated, it however allows residents to leave their homes for essential services and needs.
“For Phoenix PD and for most of our Valley law enforcement, it’s going to pretty much be we’re going to go make educational contact with individuals and ask them to abide by the [executive] order,” Williams said.
Williams said last week the department started “”handing out summonses to nonviolent offenders rather than putting them behind bars” to limit exposure.
“I guess in egregious circumstances, and I’m still waiting for the exact terminology… when would we cite and do some other things?”
What this also means is that for law enforcement in the field, officers are also put in more of harm’s way now with the spread of coronavirus hitting the state.
Williams is asking residents to respect her officers, “If you have a cold, let us know. If you have a cough let us know. If you believe or thought you were tested for COVID-19 let us know so that prior to us going on the scene, my employees, my officers can don whatever protective equipment they need to don in order for all of us to be safe.”