BLANCHESTER — The police department has received calls from citizens complaining of their fellow citizens violating the governor’s orders with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At this point I remain unsure how we are expected to enforce those orders without violating the Constitutional rights of our citizens,” said Police Chief Scott Reinbolt on Tuesday morning. “The police are empowered to enforce Ohio’s criminal statutes. Since the governor’s orders are not criminal statutes, I’m unsure how we are expected to enforce them. I have sought information on that point from various sources at the state and federal level to no avail.
Answers came later in the day from Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neal:
• 3701.352 — “No person shall violate any rule the director of health or department of health adopts or any order the director or department of health issues under this chapter to prevent a threat to the public caused by a pandemic, epidemic, or bioterrorism event.”
• 3701.99 Penalty — “(C) Whoever violates section 3701.352 or 3701.81 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.”