‘This is not a hall monitor situation’: Knezovich asks public to do their part during stay home order
SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich asked the public to step up and do their part during Washington’s new stay home order.
On Monday, Governor Jay Inslee announced the order will be in place for the next two weeks. Washingtonians must stay home unless they are considered an essential employee or are completing essential tasks, like going to the grocery store.
The order bans gatherings of any kind and allows law enforcement to issue citations to those not abiding by the rules in place.
Knezovich said law enforcement will enforce the order by “educating.” If a group gathers outside, authorities will discuss why that is a bad idea.
In a Twitter thread, Spokane Police emphasized similar sentiments, saying they have no desire to make arrests for violations of the orders and will instead focus on educating.
SPD also asked the public to avoid calling 911 to report people or businesses that may be violating the stay home order or closed business order, as those calls divert resources for immediate emergencies.
“This is not a hall monitor situation,” Knezovich said. “We’re going to do our best to work with the community, not punish the community.”
In addition to asking the public to abide by the order and do their part as they country tries to flatten the curve, Knezovich also asked for people to be careful about which sources they follow.
The sheriff said there are many rumors spreading across Facebook, like road restrictions. He said there are no restrictions on roadways throughout Spokane County or the state, and if there are, he will be the first to inform the public.
Should law enforcement decide to issue citations, those breaking the order will face gross misdemeanor charges that could result in a fine or jail time.