Sheriff Bill Gore discusses ramped up COVID enforcement efforts
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County officials announced that law enforcement will step up COVID-19 compliance protocols, including education and citations, amid spiking coronavirus cases.
Sheriff Bill Gore said Thursday that four two-deputy teams will begin making “a full-time commitment” to the county’s 18 cities and unincorporated areas, ensuring compliance with public health orders. Several cities have already confirmed they will send officers to assist deputies in their duties, Gore said.
The county has issued 52 cease-and-desist orders since Monday, including five Wednesday to Flicks in Hillcrest, Grinder Gym in Bay Park, Major’s Diner in Pine Valley, RSD Boxing in Spring Valley and Studio Barre in Torrey Highlands. Residents can report egregious violations of the health order on the county complaint line at 858-694-2900 or email SafeReopeningComplianceTeam@sdcounty.ca.gov.
Gore said deputies would not be going door-to-door but, rather, follow up on complaints. Education about public health orders will be the first method used, Gore said. Citations could follow.
“The bottom line is wear those damn masks out there and social- distance,” he said.
The announcement about increased enforcement measures came on the day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California counties in the state’s “purple” tier will be subject to a curfew prohibiting all “nonessential” activities and gatherings between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The “limited Stay At Home Order” applies to all counties in the most restrictive tier of the state’s coronavirus monitoring system, purple, which includes Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. The order will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday and remain in effect until 5 a.m. Dec. 21.
Gore outlined how the Sheriff’s Department will be working with the County compliance team to take enforcement action against any COVID-19 violators. Gore said, “we don’t want to have to take enforcement action, but we will if we can’t get that voluntary compliance with these very important public health orders. Bottom line is, wear those damn masks out there, socially distance, the sooner we do that the sooner we are going to get through this crisis.”
Gore joined KUSI’s Lauren Phinney to discuss why he made the decisions to work with the San Diego County compliance team and punish those who violate the COVID-19 orders.