After Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer passed Executive Order 2020-21 or “Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life,” some people were worried and confused about how this would affect their contact with local authorities.
Lt. David Cope, who operates out of Ottawa and Kent counties for the Michigan State Police said, “Obviously, this order is a law, however, if someone calls the Michigan State Police and thinks someone is not obeying the order, our first priority is to make contact and educate those people or businesses.”
Basically, the Kent County Sheriff’s department is echoing that message. Sheriff Michelle Lajoye Young said, “officers are following up to calls and talking to residents, taking an educational stance.”
Cope said no one is being encouraged to do “random stops” to enforce the executive order, adding “if it’s a continuing problem, the Michigan State Police may choose to cite those individuals or businesses.”
Officers are being equipped with personal protective equipment including N-95 masks, latex gloves, and “things you would expect to see in a typical medical operating room.” They are also being trained on social distancing procedures for their own and other’s safety.
On the bright side, regular criminals may be staying indoors as well.
“I don’t have numbers available yet, but as far as radio traffic that I’ve been listening to, there’s not as much as there normally is,” said Cope about the possible dip in criminal activity.