MEDFORD, Ore. — “In cases where there is a flagrant disregard of the law, people can and should be cited,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
A warning from Governor Kate Brown in a CNN interview on Monday to make violations of her new Covid-19 regulations punishable by law.
Now, local law enforcement agencies are looking at how to enforce the guidance, if at all.
“It’s no different than local officers responding to noise complaints at parties and issuing citations as a result,” said Gov. Brown.
Starting on Wednesday, Oregon will be under what’s called a 2 week ‘freeze’ to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The new restrictions will be in effect for at least two weeks.
They include limiting restaurants to delivery and takeout only and shutting down venues that hold indoor and/or outdoor events.
In a press release on Tuesday, the governor said she’s urging voluntary compliance saying in part, “I expect local law enforcement to continue to use an education first approach, but Oregonians need to understand that these rules are enforceable under law.”
The governor’s office says violating the regulations is punishable with up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,250 or both.
But whether law enforcement agencies will make any arrests remains to be seen.
Rogue Valley law enforcement agencies tell us they want to see the executive order before commenting.
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel, however, did tell us on Tuesday morning “the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is too busy investigating crime. No time for enforcement activity of the governor’s restrictions. Josephine County citizens have been very responsible thus far. I have no reason to believe they would not continue to do so.”
Back in March, Governor Brown also listed a class C misdemeanor as a penalty for violating her “stay at home” order.
At the time, the governor said punishment wasn’t her focus.
The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Oregon State Police are now encouraging Oregonians to comply with the governor’s order.
Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia.
She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.