RALEIGH, N.C (WNCN) — When North Carolina’s modified stay-at-home order and nightly curfew go into effect on Friday, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker told CBS 17 his deputies won’t be out searching for violators.
Instead, Baker said deputies will respond to curfew complaints as they‘re reported.
“We’re gonna take the calls if someone sees a violation and they call it in,” said Baker. “We’re gonna go, we’re gonna assess it, and if it requires and needs enforcement action, we’re gonna take it.”
The Raleigh Police Department is taking a similar, non-aggressive approach to enforcing Gov. Roy Cooper’s new COVID-19 restrictions. Officers won’t be out actively searching for people breaking curfew, but they will respond to complaints and work to educate people about the new rules.
In a statement sent to CBS17, a spokesperson for the department said, “… As we respond to complaints and/or happen upon businesses or individuals who may be in violation, our goal will be to continue to educate and remind the public of the Executive Order. Our experience has been that once people are reminded, they cooperate and are willing to comply. We recognize that this is a hardship on businesses and has been difficult on all of us. We believe that most people want to do their part to help slow the spread of the virus and we understand that not everyone is versed in the language and rules of the Executive Order. Therefore, we will continue to do the work of educating and reminding the public as to what the rules are and we expect that we will continue to be met with compliance.”
If people refuse to comply with the curfew and modified stay-at-home-order, they could face a second-degree misdemeanor. Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman is hopeful that won’t be the case.
“Where there are blatant violations that can be clearly established; we’re going to take appropriate action,” Freeman said. “But we’re hoping largely for voluntary compliance.”
North Carolina’s modified stay-at-home order and nightly curfew start on Friday, Dec. 11 through at least Jan. 8.