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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is clarifying its role in enforcing Governor Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order, which went into effect Friday at 6 p.m. and goes through Monday, April 13.
The governor signed Executive Order 04.03.20.01 Friday, which deputized the state’s sheriffs to enforce Executive Order 04.02.20.01 (the statewide shelter-in-place order).
“The Governor has placed a great deal of confidence in the Office of the Sheriff,” a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office news release said. “Accordingly, Bibb deputies will use a high degree of discretion during the enforcement of the Governor’s latest orders.”
The release said deputies will “first be serving in a public awareness capacity so that we can help with the continuing efforts in the slowing the spread of the coronavirus.”
Kemp’s order authorizes sheriff’s offices to enforce the closure of businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations or organizations.
“To enforce this order, Bibb deputies will take steps to provide notice, (and) in doing so they will give a reasonable amount of time and give businesses the opportunity to comply, prior to mandating closure.”
The release said deputies will not stop anyone operating a motor vehicle, or otherwise moving about, in order to determine whether a person is an essential worker or is traveling to a location considered under the governor’s order as essential.
“However, the fact that individuals may be lurking in the vicinity of closed businesses or wandering in neighborhoods will be considered suspicious and those individuals may be stopped and questioned,” it said.
Sheriff David Davis said it’s important that everyone follows the governor’s directives.
“As always, our deputies will be out on the front lines addressing the COVID-19 response,” Davis said. “Working together as a community, we will get through this unprecedented crisis.”