With a new lockdown order looming in California over a reported spike in COVID-19 cases and hospital beds filling up, the state’s far-left Gov. Gavin Newsom won’t be getting much help enforcing his new restrictions from Southern California sheriffs.
What are the details?
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told KTTV-TV he won’t be enforcing Newsom’s order on businesses, many of which will be forced to close when ICU bed capacity hits a certain threshold. The governor’s new order officially goes into effect at 1 p.m. Saturday, the station said.
Villanueva added to the station that business enforcement is the health department’s job.
“I want to stay away from businesses that are trying to comply the best they can,” he said.
“They bent over backwards to modify their entire operation to conform to these current health orders, and then they have the rug yanked out from under them — that’s a disservice,” he also told KTTV. “I don’t want to make their lives any more miserable.”
Villanueva also told the station there was no coordination regarding the new order — and he actually learned about it from Newsom’s news conference.
“Anything that has to do with enforcement, you’ve got to make sure you’re working in partnership with all the people carrying out the enforcement,” Villanueva said.
But Newsom also is threatening to pull pandemic relief funds from counties refusing to comply with his new orders, the station added.
“If you’re unwilling to enforce the rules, if you’re unwilling to adopt the protocols to support the mitigation and the reduction and spread of this disease, we’re happy to redirect those dollars to counties that feel differently,” Newsom noted, according to KTTV. “That’s exactly what we’ve done.”
What did other sheriffs have to say?
Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayum issued a statement to the station regarding Newsom’s order: “Our approach to enforcement of the continuously evolving health orders has not changed from the onset of the pandemic. Our approach is one of educating the public of the health orders and encouraging compliance with them. Enforcement has always been an option for our staff to use with considerable discretion. However, our primary goal is to seek voluntary compliance whenever possible.”
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department offered a statement to KTTV saying its deputies won’t respond to calls regarding Newsom’s new order: “As has been the case since we were initially faced with the difficulties of living and working through this pandemic together, our goal is to educate and gain voluntary compliance regarding Public Health orders. We will continue to partner with our communities and deliver the law enforcement services they deserve while keeping health and safety of our staff and those we serve as a top priority.”
The station said sheriffs from Orange and Riverside counties pointed to their previous statements about refusing to enforce the governor’s curfew order.