Law Enforcement Changing Procedures, Venting amid Coronavirus


( Cincinnati ) - Police in Ohio are now enforcing the state's Stay At Home order that went into effect at 11:59pm Monday.

"We will step in and we will verbally ask you to maintain distancing and stay out of large groups," said Woodlawn Police Chief Aaron Tilman, speaking on behalf of the Hamilton County Association of Police Chiefs in a briefing on Tuesday morning. Officers are asking for compliance, saying they are not looking to arrest anyone, though a misdemeanor citation could be given to those who refuse to comply.

The Hamilton County Sheriff says he is cutting the number of inmates in the Justice Center. Sheriff Jim Neil says they are under a thousand prisoners and thanks local judges for granting early releases and lowering bonds. He says they're close to a population of one inmate per cell.

In Butler County, the sheriff is upset with some local health departments. Sheriff Richard Jones says health commissioners in the cities of Hamilton and Middletown won't tell deputies who has tested positive for COVID-19. "These people sometimes that make these decisions, they aren't out there at night, knocking on doors and not knowing. We want our deputies to know, we want the fire, the life squad people to know." Sheriff Jones says he's contacted Governor Mike DeWine's office to address the matter.

A similar order closing non-essential businesses in Kentucky is also in effect, and a "Hoosiers Hunker Down" order starts in Indiana at 11:59pm Tuesday night.