As you are aware, the Governor issued an Order Assuring Continued Operation of Essential Services in the Commonwealth, Closing Certain Workplaces, and Prohibiting Gatherings of More Than 10 People which went into effect on 3/24 and will remain in effect through 4/7/2020 at 1200.
With respect to enforcement, the order provides that “The Department of Public Health, along with any board of health or authorized agent pursuant to G.L. c. 111 § 30, shall enforce this Order and if necessary may do so with the assistance of State or municipal police.” The order spells out a number of alternatives for enforcement ranging from a warning to criminal penalties. As such, reports of non-compliance should be forwarded to the Department of Public Health at 978-772-3335. Reports made to the police department will be forwarded to the Department of Public health in the same fashion. Our main goal here is to inform the public of the order, its importance to public health, and to seek voluntary compliance. Compliance through the variety of sanctions available is not the objective of the Department of Public Health; the health of the general public is.
We have been impressed and highly encouraged by those in the community taking these orders to heart by staying home and adhering to proper social distancing protocols when out. This is a public health matter and we all need to remain good community stewards. Officers will continue to patrol and respond to calls for service consistent with our COVID-19 protocols. Blatant, egregious, and repeat violations of the Governor’s orders will be documented and referred to the Board of Health for furtherance.
As we continue to adapt to the changes in our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to re-assure the community that we remain on duty and willing to serve. We have directed officers to focus their patrols to vulnerable targets for crimes of opportunity such as vacated schools and places of business and we will increase patrols for visibility in essential areas that remain open under the Governor’s order
Please use these orders to spend quality time with loved ones. Play games, read, get caught up on Netflix, exercise, and above all; take care of each other. We are all in this together.
Interim Chief of Police