VERO BEACH, FL (April 3, 2020) – According to an online news report published on TCPalm.com, a special task unit within the Martin County Sheriff's Office stated that they would respond and make arrests if individuals violate the statewide stay-at-home order that began today.
Vero Beach Police Chief David Currey stated that the Vero Beach Police Department would enforce Governor Ron DeSantis' order, but the department will begin by providing warnings and attempt to inform the public of the order prior to making arrests. However, Vero Beach Police Officers will not delay in issuing notices to appear in court or arrest any individuals who refuse to stay at home, he continued.
All Martin County public beaches have been closed until further notice since March 23, 2020, in order to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). The recent Martin County beach closures do not affect any property owners, visitors, and residents staying at beachfront properties, who are able to access the beaches by way of private access.
The Fort Pierce Police Department's focus will be on instructing the public about the stay-at-home order, according to Fort Pierce Deputy Chief Robert Ridle. Warnings will follow and police officers will issue citations and notices to appear as a last resort.
Throughout the Treasure Coast, local law enforcement agencies have been preparing to enforce the new statewide stay-at-home order. The order closes all businesses but essential businesses and permits people to leave their residences for limited purposes such as grocery shopping and medical visits.
Law enforcement will also observe areas to ensure that big groups are not gathering in groups of more than ten people. Most Police Chiefs around the State of Florida agree that they prefer not to arrest individuals for violating the governor's stay-at-home orders. Law enforcement officers are using ATV to patrol the public beaches to help prevent the spreading of the COVID-19 virus.
For the past two weeks, the Sebastian Police Department has been visiting local businesses to ensure that businesses are following the social-distancing guidelines, according to Sebastian Police Chief Michelle Morris. Over the weekends, we will have extra police officers patrolling the street of Sebastian to enforce the statewide "stay-at-home." Sebastian Police Chief Morris also stated that "We will be enforcing (the order), I don't know yet to what level. It's all new to us as well."
According to Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar, Indian River County, the Indian River County sheriff's deputies initially will issue warnings to violators of the stay-at-home order. Violators could be arrested and face second-degree misdemeanor charges. Indian River County Sheriff Deputies will exercise "careful discretion" with respect to gatherings and other violations.
In several cities, police officers and deputies will have gloves and masks and to wear while they interact with the public.
Right now, local law enforcement are stating that they will issue citations for those violating stay-at-home orders and the violators may jail time along with stiff fines.