April 3, 2020

Newark police issue 228 summonses, shut 9 businesses for shelter-in-place violations

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Two weeks ago, Mayor Ras J. Baraka put three sections of the City on a shelter-in-place lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. Less than a week later, he expanded it to the entire City.

While the great majority of City residents are abiding by the executive orders of Mayor Baraka and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, some have not.

Each night during his 5 p.m. Facebook Live briefing, the Mayor has implored resident to understand the gravity of COVID-19.

“We want you to stay inside because it’s dangerous to come out,” the Mayor has said. “We want you to stay inside because we want to keep you alive. We want you to stay inside because we love you.”

But for those who haven’t been listening, the City administered a little tough over recent days.

Police have issued 228 summonses for people violating the shelter-in-place order or not maintaining proper six-foot social distancing. They also closed nine non-essential businesses that were open in defiance of the order.

“The Executive Order is aimed at keeping people safe,” Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said. “We are enforcing the order to save lives, but it’s a shame that we have to issue summonses and close non-essential businesses because some people are not taking this health emergency seriously.”

People not taking the COVID-19 threat seriously caused Mayor Baraka to warn people that  a summonsing blitz was coming and the repeat offenders will be charged in Superior Court with obstruction of law. He also warned businesses not abiding by the order or not enforcing social distancing that “we will shut you down.”

On March 31, Mayor Baraka announced a joint lockdown agreement with the neighboring cities of East Orange, Orange and Irvington, banning non-essential travel between the towns The lockdown operation will be reevaluated by the mayors of the four towns on April 7.

“We urge our residents and any non-essential people who are planning to come into the city to stay home,” Director Ambrose added. “As always, our goal is public safety. COVID-19 poses a credible threat to the safety of our residents and visitors and we are issuing summonses and closing down businesses who are not in compliance.”

To report COVID-19 violations, Director Ambrose ask residents call: 973-733-6000.

- Newark News