Chapel Hill PD focuses on education when it comes to COVID-19 guideline violators

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Calls to 911 reporting people not wearing masks or social distancing are on the rise in Chapel Hill, the town’s police chief told CBS 17.

You may be wondering what role police officers play when complaints come in. While the police department takes complaints, it’s the Orange County Health Department and Human Services that is taking the role of enforcing CDC and state guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue.

“We are beginning to see an uptick in calls about people not covering their faces, businesses that may not be complying with all of the orders. We feel very fortunate to have an outstanding health department in Orange County, and they have a team that is mobilized to respond and educate in those kinds of situations,” Blue said.

He said they are not discouraging people to call them, but do ask people to call their non-emergency phone number.

“There are other ways that you can report and call our non-emergency number here at the police department. We do maintain a list of complaints and share them with the health department,” said Blue.

The Orange County Health Department has a team mobilized to enforce CDC guidelines and to make sure businesses are doing what they are supposed to during the pandemic.

“What’s nice about that is…it puts law enforcement in a position to educate as well, but not to necessarily have to take a strong enforcement role,” Blue said. “And, we’re trying very hard to not take a strong enforcement role right now for a lot of reasons.”

According to the Chapel Hill Police Department, no officers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

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