Police will take ‘fair and reasonable’ approach regarding enforcement of stay-at-home orders

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THUNDER BAY — The city’s chief of police provided an overview of the police force’s position regarding the province's new stay-at-home orders which came into effect on Thursday.

Through a news release issued on Friday, Jan. 15, Chief of Police Sylvie Hauth said police will be taking a "fair and reasonable approach" regarding the enforcement of the new orders.

“We will continue to work with the health unit inspectors who are currently the primary investigative authority on compliance charges," Hauth said in a news release. The health unit will continue to ensure that only permitted businesses are open for the specified hours, gatherings are limited to no more than five individuals, the wearing of face masks as specified in the act and that social distancing is occurring within businesses and organizations.

“We will continue to work jointly on ensuring that the orders are followed and that charges are laid when warranted,” Hauth said.

Police will continue to engage with individuals, explain why they are there, and educate. Enforcement will be a last resort, police say.

The police service also recognizes the vulnerable members of the community and the challenges they experience during this health crisis.

“The stay-at-home orders do not apply to homeless people. The Thunder Bay Police Service, along with our partner organizations continue to be sensitive to their needs,” Hauth said.

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source