SF police have taken a more relaxed tone on ticketing people breaking the now Bay Area-wide shelter-in-place order; thus far, not a single citation for violating the mandate has been issued. San Jose law enforcement, however, has other plans beginning Monday.
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) tweeted yesterday to announce they’ve issued zero citations to people infringing upon the isolation edict. Although, in the South Bay, San Jose city officials and law enforcement authorities are suggesting people and businesses rigorously abide by the pandemic-spurred stay-at-home order — or risk facing a misdemeanor next week.
Hearing rumors of police conducting pedestrian and car stops based on the shelter-in-place order. Wanted to clear up that SJPD is expressly prohibited from detaining individuals based solely on the shelter-in-place order. This policy was enacted the day the order became effective pic.twitter.com/l74yMvO0rS— San Jose Police Dept (@SanJosePD) March 20, 2020
Local news outlets, like KRON4 and KTVU, reported that the San Jose Police Department (SJPD) will start to “strictly enforce” the shelter-in-place order come Monday. Though the City of San Jose is educating residents — particularly business owners — about the need to stay home, avoid contact with others, and close “non-essential” shops, they worry it’s not enough.
“We’re just advising and educating the public on the certain parameters provided by the county, [but both] non-essential and essential businesses are currently functioning,” said SJPD Officer Andrew Gomez to KTVU.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia thinks, regardless, too many businesses aren’t complying with the order, choosing instead to remain open. But, starting Monday, refusing to heed the stay-at-home command may result in a “criminal citation.”
"We’re looking to begin [enforcing the order more] next week,” Garcia adds to KTVU’s Jesse Gary. “We have several remedies which include a criminal citation, business license suspension, and health code citations.”
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is also calling for a communal accountability push to ensure San Jose residents are strictly following the order.
We are responsible for the health and safety of others. It’s our responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors during this pandemic. San José officials urge residents to shelter in place—mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. https://t.co/kA2qc11Uio— Sam Liccardo (@sliccardo) March 20, 2020
"To encourage folks, if you believe someone is violating the stay-at-home order from the state or local county authorities, please call 311,” Mayor Liccardo said.
As of Friday, KRON4 noted that 60 people and businesses were notified about staying open in defiance of the order. Starting next week, those warned violators could face misdemeanor citations — and possible jail time.
You can read the entire County of Santa Clara Public Health Department’s shelter-in-place order, here.
Image: Flickr via Willbuckner