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Police departments in Will County plan to enforce Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home-order by urging residents to follow the mandate that aims to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
Pritzker’s order, which went into effect Saturday evening, requires all Illinoisans to stay in their homes with the exception of “essential activities” such as shopping for groceries, receiving medical care or taking pets for a walk.
The order prohibits activities such as visiting other people’s homes – unless it’s to provide care or supplies – and gathering in groups of more than 10 people.
Joliet police Sgt. Christopher Botzum said the police will enforce the governor’s order through education.
“If we come in contact with individuals who are violating the order, we are directing them to stay home and informing them of the policy issued to by governor,” Botzum said.
Illinois State Police Sgt. Delila Garcia said troopers will act as “community caretakers” to educate people about the order and urge voluntary compliance.
“Local law enforcement and county health departments will typically be on the front lines of this mission which is geared toward ensuring public safety,” Garcia said.
While the goal is voluntary compliance, she said, residents should be aware that noncompliance with the governor’s order can result in criminal and civil sanctions.
Bolingbrook Deputy Police Chief Mike Rompa said the very last resort will be an arrest. He said the goal is to “educate and work with the community for compliance.”
“We need to work together in an effort to keep everyone healthy,” Rompa said.