The Irvine Police Department has issued a statement on how it will approach enforcing the county’s newly issued non-essential curfew for the next month.
In a statement to Irvine Weekly via email, Irvine Police Department Spokesperson Sargent Karie Davies said the department views the need to enforce this curfew as a “last resort,” considering the public — and the citizens of Irvine — are already familiar with a curfew of this nature. But, for the most part, the public can still engage in essential activities, according to Davies.
“We will be taking a common sense approach. People need to go to the grocery store, get medication, walk their dog, grab takeout and engage in other essential activities. The order seems to be focused on limiting all gatherings with members of other households,” Davies wrote in an email to Irvine Weekly. “This is not unlike the order that was put in place in March in regards to gatherings. We will be responding to calls for service involving violations of the order, as we have since the beginning. We will enforce the order, if necessary, but our preference is to educate and gain compliance. Enforcement is a last resort.”
On Thursday, Nov. 19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a non-essential curfew for all counties within the Purple Tier for COVID-19 monitoring. The curfew will cap all non-essential travel from the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., beginning on Saturday Nov. 21 through Dec. 21.
The Irvine Police Department also addressed curfew concerns and questions on Twitter and Instagram.
— Irvine Police Department (@IrvinePolice) November 20, 2020
“We have received many calls from members of our community asking if we will be enforcing the State’s new limited stay at home order. As with other orders related to the pandemic, we will be responding to calls for service involving violations of the order. Our goal will continue to be education and voluntary compliance. Enforcement of the order will be our last resort. We ask that you do your part to bring the COVID-19 numbers back down and keep businesses, schools, and other activities open. We will get through this together.” — Irvine Police Department
During the curfew, each city in the county is responsible for enforcing curfew, according to Sergeant Dennis T. Breckner, Public Information Officer for the Orange County Sheriffs Department Public Affairs & Community Engagement Department.
“The decision to implement a curfew would be up to the County Board of Supervisors or each individual city, similar to curfews that were implemented during the nationwide civil unrest earlier in the year,” Breckner wrote in an email to Irvine Weekly.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, Orange County reported 582 new COVID-19 cases with nine new deaths.