NJ governor’s ‘draconian’ coronavirus order limiting holiday gatherings won’t be enforced, police chief says
Howell, N.J., Police Chief Andrew Kudrick, Jr. says he will not enforce some of the governor’s COVID-19 executive orders.
Murphy, a Democrat, has called for a 10-person limit for in-household gatherings.
“Our community is hurting,” Kudrick said. “I live here. I grew up here. I shop here. I go out to dinner here. And I talk one-on-one with our business owners… and I see how much they’re hurting.”
“So as a police chief, in charge of 100-plus police officers, I felt it was just incumbent upon me just to let them know, and let my community know, that we’re not going to enforce some of these executive orders which I feel are basically draconian,” he added.
Gov. Phil Murphy tells attendees at an event in Blackwood, N.J., that he must leave the event to quarantine after just finding out that he’d been in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. Oct. 21, 2020. (New Jersey Office of the Governor via AP, File)
Kudrick said his police staff will not be “used” to go door-to-door in order to enforce these restrictions, especially since political activities have been exempt from the order.
“When we’re hurting in society nowadays, our friends and families are the ones that provide us support and lift us up,” he said. “And I wasn’t going to have my police officers going knocking on doors and ruining somebody’s holiday just to check how many people are inside their house. It’s not happening.”
The police chief issued a public memo on Thursday stating his department will not respond to complaints regarding gathering limits, social distancing, or face mask compliance, unless an “egregious violation” occurs, and will leave it up to the community members to act responsibly.
“We the police will not be used to carry out orders I feel are detrimental to our relationship with our community. Or, will put officers in a no-win predicament such as being called for a social distancing or mask complaint,” he said in the memo. “Although justified in our enforcement, the perception will be the opposite and majority support will be lacking.”
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