PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – We’re into the second full day of Arizona’s stay-at-home order, and many people are wondering how it will be enforced. Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams stopped by the “Good Morning Arizona” studio to answer that question (while practicing proper social distancing).
“We are taking this absolutely seriously, but we are leaning hard with education,” Williams said. “What we want people to do is to comply.”
She also praised Gov. Doug Ducey’s advice to people to stay connected. “We are creatures of habit who really want to see engaged with one another,” she said. “I’ve seen so many ‘family units’ walking around in my neighborhood … so that’s really nice to see. We want folks to do that.”
Gov. Ducey has ordered a statewide order to stay at home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. "Stay home, stay healthy and stay connected," he said.
Williams explained that community action officers and community response officers are responding to complaints.
“We have to stay on top of this. We have to maintain this 30-day window so we can stop the spread,” she said. “If someone is non-complaint and we get constant and routine calls … if I have to keep disseminating resources to the same location, to the same business, then that may warrant a citation.”
That citation would be for a class 1 misdemeanor, which can carry a fine of up to $2,500.
Williams said that her officers would not be stopping people proactively to determine if they are going to essential but that they would actively respond to complaints. They also will be keeping an eye out for gatherings more of than 10, with the intent of educating people about social distancing guidelines.
The coronavirus crisis “is unlike anything that we’ve seen,” Williams said, explaining what the department was doing at its headquarters to keep employees – both officers and civilians – safe. “We’re trying to stay educated and informed but also stay present so we can do our job.”
Scott Pasmore asked about the crime rate in the current climate. Has it dropped?
“Our calls for services are holding steady,” she said. “Our arrests are holding steady. We’re not seeing a dip in things whatsoever. We still have officers who are responding. … Things are still happening out there.”