Columbus Police Department details its role during Ohio’s stay-at-home order

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — This weekend will mark the first in Ohio under the state’s stay-at-home order.  

While members of the public are urged to stay home, they are permitted to go to the grocery store, pick up carry-out food, and go for walks and runs so long as they are not part of a large group. Workers who are deemed essential employees are also allowed to leave home for work. 

On Friday, Governor Mike DeWine said he has asked members of both health and police departments who see large groups of people congregating to very nicely tell them not to gather.

According to Columbus police, officers will act upon DeWine’s advice when the weekend begins. 

“If there is an increased activity in social gathering, or if there is an increased activity in something where people are not following the order specifically, we’re definitely going to try our best to keep everyone safe and healthy,” Sgt. James Fuqua said. “We will communicate with people to make sure everyone’s doing everything they’re supposed to do.” 

Fuqua emphasized that officers will not stop motorists simply because they are suspected of violating the order. 

“We want to make it very clear that we are not going out pulling people over specifically to check for the stay-at-home order,” he said. “ Now, in the course of our duties if it comes up, yes we may question you about it. We may look into it, but by no means do we want to go out and stop someone for the sole purpose of the stay-at-home order.” 

So far, Fuqua said police have not issued any citations as a result of the order. 

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