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Phoenix police will learn as they go enforcing stay-at-home

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Enforcing Arizona’s stay-at-home coronanavirus order is going to be a work in progress for Phoenix police and other peacekeepers.

“We need a little bit more clarification from the local lawyers to tell us what we can do and I think the governor’s orders stated that,” Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams told The Mike Broomhead Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM Tuesday.

The stay-at-home order will be enforced starting at 5 p.m. Gov. Doug Ducey announced the order Monday. The order, however, allows residents to leave their homes for essential services and needs.

Williams said the agency has been in direct contact with the governor’s office.

“For Phoenix PD and for most of our Valley law enforcement, it’s going to pretty much be we’re going to go make educational contact with individuals and ask them to abide by the [executive] order,” Williams said.

Williams said last week the department started “”handing out summonses to nonviolent offenders rather than putting them behind bars” to limit exposure.

“I guess in egregious circumstances, and I’m still waiting for the exact terminology… when would we cite and do some other things?”

For law enforcement in the field, officers are put in harm’s way more times than not. Now, however, there’s an added element with the spread of coronavirus hitting the state.

“If you have a cold, let us know. If you have a cough let us know,” Williams said. “If you believe or thought you were tested for COVID-19 let us know so that prior to us going on the scene, my employees, my officers can don whatever protective equipment they need to don in order for all of us to be safe.”

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit

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