ELLSWORTH — State police are asking residents to comply with Governor Janet Mills’ executive order to stay home unless they have an essential need to go out.
The order, issued to halt spread of the coronavirus, is in effect until April 30.
“There are several allowable reasons to leave your home such as: going to get groceries or take-out from a restaurant, getting needed supplies at a hardware store or pharmacy for yourself or others, going to a doctor’s appointment, etc.,” police stated in a press release. “Those who are employed by essential businesses can still travel for work. You may also go out for a hike or go for a walk to get some fresh air while maintaining proper physical distancing.”
“Our troopers will be visible on normal patrol and will respond to emergency calls for service just like we would at any other time,” police said. “We will assume that people we encounter are following the orders and have an essential need for travel. We will smile and wave as we see them out walking to get some fresh air. In order to maintain order and public safety during this State of Civil Emergency, we will continue to respond to complaints and investigate crime, enforcing all laws to include the Governor’s executive order.
“Our troopers will exercise discretion and compassion as we always do, considering the totality of the circumstances in deciding the most reasonable and appropriate enforcement action. With our goal being voluntary compliance, we hope and believe that communication and education regarding legal, safe practices outlined in the executive order will suffice. Issuing summonses or making physical arrests would be our last course of action and reserved for only the most egregious violators. Our hope is that the public will abide by the executive order and not put our officers in the position of having to enforce the law.”
“The Maine State Police will not be randomly stopping people simply to verify compliance,” police said. “However, there will be times when our troopers will be in contact with members of the public during normal law enforcement operations and may ask questions to ensure compliance with the Governor’s executive order.”