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"We do not want to go there": SFPD to use citations as "last resort" in shelter-in-place enforcement

"We do not want to go there": SFPD to use citations as "last resort" in shelter-in-place enforcement
Assistant Chief Mike Redmond taking questions at a press conference at City hall on Monday. | Photo: SFgovTV/YouTube
By Matthew Gerring - Published on March 16, 2020.

SFPD Assistant Chief Mike Redmond said at a Monday press conference that when it comes to issuing citations to enforce the city's shelter-in-place order, "we don't want to go there."

Violating the shelter-in-place order, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both, but SFPD representatives say they only want to use enforcement as a last resort.

"We are not interested in using a criminal justice approach for a public health challenge," SFPD said in a statement. "This is about educating the public about voluntary compliance."

Redmond said the current plan is focused on a "visible deployment" of officers to some retail areas, where they will act as a deterrent to criminal activity while stores are closed.

As for individuals violating the shelter-in-place order, “there will be a lot of education and talking and things like that before there’s any enforcement,” Redmond said.