NC sheriff’s office won’t enforce Gov. Cooper’s COVID-19 curfew


ASHEBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – A day before Gov. Roy Cooper’s modified stay-at-home order is slated to go into effect, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office said it will not be enforcing the order’s mandates.

Executive Order 181 goes into effect Friday at 5 p.m. The order implements a temporary night-time public closure period on certain businesses.

It also puts in place a modified “Stay at Home” order that runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Jan. 8.

The order states individuals must stay home or the place they will remain during 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. – exceptions apply.

Cooper’s order aims to curb the spike in COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations. North Carolina continues to set new record highs in key tracking metrics.

On Thursday, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office said it will not enforce the mandates set forth by the executive order.

“It is not the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office’s intention to criminalize violations of the Governor’s Executive Order. To do so would require a workforce that our office simply does not have; would overburden the already saturated court dockets; would increase social contact between our deputies and citizens that does not further a legitimate interest of public safety,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

Deputies will serve in what the sheriff’s office said is an “educational capacity” in partnership with the county health department.

“The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office strongly urges all citizens to follow the recommended guidelines of exercising social distancing, wearing a mask in public, and washing hands often with due regard to our family, friends, and neighbors’ health and welfare,” the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office went on to say it wants to maintain positive interactions with the citizens of Randolph County.

“We depend significantly on our citizens to report and share information that often alerts us to criminal activity and aids us in solving violent and heinous crimes,” the sheriff’s office said.

The focus of deputies will be on to keeping that rapport with its citizens while “deterring, preventing, and solving the crime while encouraging safe practices.”

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