State Police: Don't Call 911 On People Violating 'Stay Home' Order

"This is not martial law, it's not a lockdown"

WWJ News
March 24, 2020 - 12:02 am

(WWJ) If you see people standing too close together, or a neighbor maybe not following the rules, don't call 911. 

That's the message from Michigan State Police regarding the unprecidented "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that took effect at 12:10 a.m. Tuesday.

"This is not martial law, it's not a lockdown, it's not a shelter in place order," said MSP First Lt. Mike Shaw, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950. "It's a way for your to protect your family."

Shaw said, while the governor's order does carry the weight of a misdemeanor, State Police will not be patrolling communities, and they won't be setting up checkpoints to ask people where they are going.

"We're not locking people up," Shaw stressed. "I think people need to understand what this order is actually doing is keeping us safe, keeping our families safe. It's not here for us to go out there and look for people who aren't (following the order); our troopers aren't doing that at all."

Shaw said police do not want Michiganders calling police to report folks who may be violating rules such not standing six feet apart or gathering for an unapproved activity. 

"We haven't gotten a lot of these calls at all. But what we want people to do is just to remember, these are pretty much the same restrictions that we had before. So just be smart about what you're doing to do," Shaw said.

Shaw said the highways remain open, and while all gatherings of people not part of a single household are prohibited:

"You can still get food, so when you go to the grocery store just don't go for one item, go for your week's shopping at a time so you only have to go out for once. But you don't have to hoard either, because there's plenty of food out there." 

Whitmer's order will remain in effect through April 13 at 11:59 pm. The purpose, she said, is to slow the spread of the virus. 

In summary: People should only leave their homes under very limited circumstances, like for food or medical help. Grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses deemed essential to life will be allowed to remain open. Residents can also still get takeout from restaurants, and it's OK to go out to take care of a family member, dependent or disabled person, or even just go for a walk.

"Critical" workers told to continue working include health care workers, law enforcement and first responders, food and agriculture workers, utility and infrastructure workers, banking and critical manufacturing workers. MORE DETAILS HERE.

"Don’t play fast and loose with what is essential and what is not," Whitmer said. "Don’t try to skirt the rules."

Businesses that violate Whitmer's order could face fines, Shaw confirmed, or have their liquor licenses revoked. 

Anyone who feels unsafe at their place of work or believes that their employer is violating state orders can call the non-emergency line for their local police.

As for any military activity, Whitmer said the National Guard's role in Michigan has been limited to humanitarian efforts. doing things like packing boxes with supplies for health departments and assisting at veteran's hospitals.