By EMA Director Drew Cook-
I would like to address the questions regarding the executive orders. Our dispatch centers, and other offices, have been inundated with calls regarding these orders.
Please do your best to refrain from contacting our dispatchers about these questions. We need them to be available to take and dispatch emergency calls as they normally do. Please exhaust all avenues of information before contacting us.
Our office has two very informative posts from 25th Judicial District Attorney General, Mark Davidson, that very plainly outlined the enforcement of the Executive Orders, as well as provided hypothetical situations that will also help you in answering your questions.
Hypotheticals from 25th District Attorney General Mark Davidson:
We understand, during this difficult and challenging time, that there is some confusion and uncertainty about what is permissible and what is not under the multiple Executive Orders (EOs) issued by the Governor. The Governor has asked all District Attorneys to help enforce violations of his EOs, and as the chief law enforcement officers in our districts it is our duty to do so with our law enforcement partners. But our first goal is to educate and advise. Please understand that this is a public health emergency, and that the health and safety of your family, your neighbors, your friends and your fellow Americans depends on your being safe and responsible in these trying times. Patience is, indeed, a virtue.
In an effort to help folks understand how these enforcement orders work and can be enforced, I am copying below some guidelines provided by our partners at the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in Nashville. Please be aware that compliance is the goal, and that verbal education and persuasion will be utilized before anyone is cited or charged with any violation. Having said that, non-compliant violators can and will be charged if needed. I will follow this post up with another post illustrating some hypothetical situations that could occur and how law enforcement would do their best to address them.
Enforcing Executive Orders:
• It is a Class A misdemeanor to violate an order issued under the Governor’s emergency powers. Tenn. Code Ann. § 58-2-120.
• Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-111(e)(1), the sentence for a Class A misdemeanor is: Imprisonment not greater…
For the complete story, see the April 15th edition of The Lexington Progress.