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13 law enforcement agencies that refuse to enforce California's new curfew and why

These police departments and sheriff's offices say they will not enforce California's stay-at-home curfew which starts Saturday.

CALIFORNIA, USA — Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a "limited" stay-at-home order Thursday that will impact California's purple-tier counties starting Saturday as the state continues its fight with a surging coronavirus.

The order bans non-essential businesses and personal gatherings for the 41 counties currently in the purple tier between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The order goes into effect on Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. and is expected to last a month, ending at 5 a.m. on Dec. 21.

Police departments and sheriff's offices across Northern California have taken to social media to say whether or not they plan on enforcing the month-long curfew. 

Here is what they had to say:

1. Sacramento Sheriff's Office

Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones released a statement Thursday saying his deputies will not be enforcing the new curfew, as well as any "potential impending orders" at the county or state level.

"The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office will not be determining—including entering any home or business—compliance with, or enforcing compliance of, any health or emergency orders related to curfews, staying at home, Thanksgiving, or other social gatherings inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates," Jones said. 

Jones further explained saying the sheriff's office will not send deputies to enforce reported instances. Callers will be advised to call 3-1-1 and routed to county health.

You can read Jone's full statement below or on Facebook. 

2. Sacramento Police Department

The Sacramento Police Department joins the list of agencies that will not enforce the new curfew, according to Sgt. Sabrina Briggs. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sacramento Police has said their primary approach has been to educate not enforce. This approach will continue throughout the new stay-at-home order.

“Business complaints will primarily be handled through the city’s code enforcement department," Briggs said. "Complaints regarding businesses within the Sacramento city limits can be reported via 311.”

3. Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office

The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office says they plan to continue a "strong educational component" instead of enforcing the new curfew. They will, however, urge everyone to avoid any unnecessary or non-essential travel during the curfew hours. 

"My position hasn’t changed since March 19th," said Sheriff Jeff Dirkse in a Facebook post on Thursday. "We will not be arresting anyone as a result of this or any other order. This is a public health crisis and we are not going to solve it by arresting people and making criminals out of the members of our community."

You can read the sheriff's full statement below or on Facebook

4. Stockton Police Department

The Stockton Police Department released their statement Thursday afternoon, stating that they will also be taking an "education-first" approach. 

"We will continue to prioritize emergency calls for service while balancing a tiered approach of education, warnings, and enforcement when addressing violations related to this latest order," reads the post on Facebook. 

5. Ceres Police Department

The Ceres Police Department released a statement after receiving multiple calls and messages from people following the governor's order. 

The department wants to assure citizens that they will continue an educational approach and will not arrest people for violating the state's order. 

"The Ceres Police Department will not arrest people for violating this order. Ceres Police Officers will not come to your home, stop your car, or interrogate your family based simply on this order," the department wrote in a Facebook post. 

You can read the police department's full statement below or on Facebook.

6. Placer County Sheriff's Office

The Placer County Sheriff's Office waited until Friday to release their statement saying they will continue to educate instead of arrest. 

"We understand the importance of having a careful balance between mitigating COVID-19 and maintaining individual liberties and freedoms," said the sheriff's office in a Facebook post. "The Sheriff’s Office will continue to respond to criminal complaints and ensure public safety, which remains our number one priority." 

Citizens who are concerned about a business or neighbor that isn't following state orders are advised to call 2-1-1. 

You can read the sheriff's office's full statement below or on Facebook.

7. Sutter County Sheriff Office

In a message from Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes, deputies will not use enforcement action on people solely for violated the state's new stay-at-home order. 

The sheriff's office will continue with an educational approach, echoing what many other counties have said regarding the stay-at-home order. 

"As we head into the holiday season, we will see increases in certain types of criminal activity. We recognize our duty is to protect the rights of our citizens and to that end, we will focus our resources on priority calls like crimes against persons and property crimes."

If you are concerned about a business or person not following state health guidance, contact the Yuba-Sutter Call Center at 530-749-7700 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or email the Sutter COVID Outreach Resiliency Effort (SCORE).

You can read Sheriff Barnes' full statement below or on Facebook. 

8. Butte County Sheriff's Office

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says his deputies will not be enforcing the new stay-at-home order as to not add more stress to an already difficult time. 

"In these challenging times, there is a great deal of fear, anxiety and uncertainty within the community," said Honea in a Facebook post. "I do not wish to compound those concerns by creating distrust and friction between residents and law enforcement."

Honea showed concern over the enforcement of the order, describing the process as "very troubling."

"As both Sheriff and a citizen of Butte County, the thought of law enforcement officers peeking into the windows of homes, or stopping and questioning residents regarding their destination and family relationships, merely for being outside of their homes, or visiting the home of another during the nighttime hours, all solely due to the suspicion of violating the ‘Limited Stay at Home Order,’ is very troubling," explained Honea.

However, Honea also urged citizens to take personal responsibility for their health and the well-being of other members of the community.

"I want to stress the importance of voluntary compliance with common-sense measures, such as social distancing, the use of face-coverings where appropriate, proper sanitation, staying at home when sick and other recommendations as part of a social contract between individuals, community groups, businesses and public health officials, which is critical in stemming the spread of COVID-19,” said Honea.

You can read Sheriff Honea's full statement below or on Facebook.

9. Dixon Police Department

In a message to residents, Chief of Police Robert Thompson alluded to not enforcing the order, although not directly saying it. 

Thompson said the department is "asking, pleading, begging" residents to not make police play the role of "enforcer" for the curfew and other state mandates. 

"The officers and employees of the DPD are experiencing them just like you. Our kids are out of school; our spouses are remoting working; our families are separated during the holidays. We get it because we're living it too," said Thompson. "Overall, the people of our city have recognized the moment we are in, understood the need to protect the health of themselves and their friends and neighbors. They get it. There are some in our community who don't. They either don't care about it, don't believe it, or flat out reject it. That is the real tragedy of COVID."

Thompson said the virus doesn't care about your politics or what news channel you watch.

"With over 250,000 Americans dead, we're arguing about how wearing masks infringes on our freedom. Hopefully, when this is over, we can set ourselves right again. At least, I hope so," said Thompson in a Facebook post.

You can read the police chief's full statement below or on Facebook.

10. Roseville Police Department

The Roseville Police Department issued a statement Friday morning explaining how they will continue educating the community at large. However, citizens are encouraged to continue following state guidelines.

"We strongly encourage everyone to cooperate with the guidance set forth by the state," said the police department in a Facebook post. "Our primary objective will remain the same, which is to ensure the safety within the City of Roseville."

You can read the department's full statement below or on Facebook.

11. El Dorado County Sheriff's Office

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said they will not enforce California's curfew or any other health order related to it. 

"The Sheriff’s Office will not prevent Thanksgiving activities, maximum occupancies, or mask-wearing mandates at social gatherings within the County of El Dorado," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post.

Citizens who would like to report and business or person going against the state's COVID-19 guidelines will be referred to the El Dorado County Department of Public Health at 530-621-6100. 

The sheriff's office said they will continue to respond to criminal activity and uphold the Constitution of the United State of America.

You can read the sheriff's office's full statement below or on Facebook.

12. Solano County Sheriff's Office

Friday evening, the Solano County Sheriff's Office announced their stance on California's new limited stay-at-home order, saying they will not respond to calls based solely on non-compliance. 

"For Thanksgiving, my deputies will not be “policing” the activities and or gatherings as it is up to the community to monitor the safety of their own family," said the Solano County Sheriff's Office in a Facebook post. "Therefore, we encourage every individual who conducts their business in public to do so in a lawful manner and celebrate the upcoming holidays, mindful of the collective need to adhere to public health guidelines."

Deputies will continue their education-first policy and encourage responsible behavior. 

"We are committed to the well-being of our County’s citizens, and we will continue to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of California," the sheriff's office said.

You can read the sheriff's office's full statement below or on Facebook.

13. Folsom Police Department

The Folsom Police Department announced they would not be enforcing the new stay-at-home curfew, instead focusing on proactive outreach and education before any enforcement.

"This process has proven to be effective at both educating the community and helping keep the public safe," said the police department in a Facebook post. "The Folsom community is strongly encouraged to cooperate with the guidance set forth by the State of California. This process has proven to be effective at both educating the community and helping keep the public safe."

If you would like to report a business or person for not following state health guidelines, Folsom Police urge you to contact the City of Folsom COVID hotline at 916-461-6555 or email covid19@folsom.ca.us. 

You can read the police department's full statement below or on Facebook.

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