On March 10, 2020, Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency to “…maximize efforts to slow the spread” of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). On March 13, President Trump proclaimed “…the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency.” As a result, the City of East Grand Rapids and Department of Public Safety are doing our best to comply with all national, state and Kent County Health Department directives to keep our residents, businesses, and visitors as safe as possible. I wanted to share some of the measures we are taking.
Your public safety officers are:
Your Department of Public Safety:
From a law enforcement perspective, the most common complaint we are receiving has to do with groups of people violating the six-foot rule. According to Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order 2020-42:
It is important to understand numerous exceptions to the order exist including: “Individuals may leave their home or place of residence, and travel as necessary…(t)o engage in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or other similar physical activity, as well as any comparable activity for those with limited mobility.”
Executive Order 2020-42 is a stay at home order, but not a complete lockdown. Individuals can be out and about depending on the circumstances, which makes enforcement challenging. While our officers are empowered to arrest or issue misdemeanor citations for violations of this executive order, our first approach is to focus on education first, rather than enforcement.
Guidelines, rules and the laws concerning the pandemic are constantly changing. Our COVID-19 policies are updated as soon as new information becomes available. Conflicting information from the federal and state levels may cause confusion and so we must adapt, remain flexible and stay open to change. I can assure you the Mayor, City Commissioners, City Manager and staff are working hard every day to ensure your safety. We strongly encourage everyone to abide by CDC guidelines, wash hands regularly, avoid close contact with others, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect surfaces regularly, stay home as much as possible and wear a mask when in public.
Please remember many of our friends and neighbors with compromised immune systems are most at risk when the public does not follow these commonsense health guidelines.
Remember: “We stay at work for you, so please stay at home for us.”
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.
Mark A. HeraldDirector of Public Safety616firstname.lastname@example.org