Enforcement of Public Health Order in Sacramento County
Since the Public Health Order went into effect on March 20, 2020, Sacramento area law enforcement agencies have primarily taken an education-based approach to gain voluntary compliance when addressing violations of the Public Health Order. While education continues to be the primary focus of all agencies when it comes to violations of the Health Order, law enforcement agencies in Sacramento County will now also take enforcement action on violations of the Public Health Order that clearly put the health and safety of our communities in jeopardy. This includes the cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Galt, Rancho Cordova, Sacramento County Parks Police, Fulton-El Camino Parks, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. Each of the police chiefs and Sheriff have continued to collaborate on a measured and balanced approach to enforcement of the Health Order in Sacramento County.
On April 12, 2020, Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and Sacramento Police Department responded to multiple reports of “sideshows” that occurred throughout Sacramento County. These incidents involved estimates of 100 or more people gathered closely in the streets and resulted in one collision into a police vehicle. These sideshows are not only dangerous, but are an obvious violation of the Public Health Order.
Over the past three weeks, law enforcement agencies in Sacramento County have also responded to calls involving large house parties and other gatherings that were clearly in violation of the Public Health Order.
Events like these undermine the efforts of our communities which have worked hard to make a difference in this health crisis. Because of this, in addition to citing appropriate vehicle code and penal code violations, law enforcement agencies throughout the Sacramento region will begin conducting enforcement on reoccurring or blatant violations of this Health Order.
“We know that the vast majority of our community will continue to comply with the Public Health Order, and an educational approach will still be effective,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn. “This move towards limited enforcement addresses those that blatantly put the community at risk by engaging in obvious violations of the Public Health Order.”
“It is important for folks to understand that all of Sacramento law enforcement is united in our desire to keep our communities safe, and in our willingness to enforce the order against unreasonable violations,” Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones also stated.
Health and Safety Code 120295 states that violating either a state or a local isolation order constitutes a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine between $50 and $1,000. Each day of violation is a separate offense with jail and/or a fine between $50 and $1,000.
Government Code 8665 provides that anyone who violates, refuses, or willfully neglects to obey any lawful order or regulation during a State of Emergency is guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalty for a violation of this code is up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.