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Fresno Police Department vehicle cropped image via Flicker user Joe Green.

published on March 19, 2020 - 2:36 PM
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While Fresno’s police chief announced Thursday that officers would not be stopping folks in the midst of the shelter-in-place guidance issued Wednesday, the City of Fresno did note that business owners violating the mandatory closure notice may be fined or have their permits pulled.

“We’re getting great voluntary compliance,” said Interim Police Chief Andy Hall in a press conference Thursday. “We have not had any issues with business owners yet, and we don’t anticipate any. But if we feel a business owner is putting our community at risk, we will take action.”

Along with Mayor Lee Brand, Hall and Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis wanted to assure the public that city services, including fire and police, are still available outside the scope of the coronavirus response. Of the 800 police officers on the Fresno payroll, only seven were home due to chronic illnesses unrelated to COVID-19, Hall said.

Regarding the moratorium on non-essential businesses operating, Brand said code enforcement could respond to businesses that violate his order. He said in certain circumstances, conditional use permits could be pulled.

In Sacramento County, sheriff personnel and police were given the ability to cite businesses that remain open, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

“We’re asking people to be mindful of how this virus is spread,” said Brand.

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