By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Curfew order: MPD, sheriff will educate not punish

The Manteca Police Department and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office will not be knocking down any doors to enforce Governor Gavin Newsom’s curfew order that is set to go into effect tonight at 10 o’clock.

And they aren’t going to pulling over cars that are out on the road, either.

“Our position, which is one of education and encouragement, has not changed since the start of this pandemic,” the Manteca Police Department noted in a release.

The department indicated they have received many messages of concern regarding the Governor's limited stay at home order as part of his pandemic strategy.

“The Manteca Police Department will not arrest people for violating this order,” the statement notes. “Manteca Police Officers will not come to your home, stop your car, or interrogate your family based simply on this order.

“Our position is aligned with other law enforcement agencies in the county. We will continue to work with public health and other officials to help educate the public of the need to protect the community.

“Please, do the right thing for your community. Follow the guidelines. Stay home if you are feeling ill. Wear a mask. Wash your hands.”

According to a statement released by Sheriff Pat Withrow about the recent development in the state’s ongoing battle with the COVID-19 virus, the sheriff’s office plans on continuing to do the same thing that they’ve done since shelter-in-place orders went into effect this spring – educate the public rather than use punitive enforcement to gain compliance.

“We’re getting some confusion and concern about the order that the Governor just put out regarding a curfew,” Withrow said in a video that was released on the agency’s social media accounts. “I just want to put you at ease – here in San Joaquin County, we’re going to do what we’ve always done which is enforce this through education to the best of our abilities.

“It doesn’t change anything that we do – we’re not going to be storming homes or stopping people in cars because they’re out at night or anything like that.”

While law enforcement agencies across the state have had to deal with the impacts and effects of the virus on several fronts – from protecting the safety of their own officers and ensuring that outbreaks don’t occur amongst those in custody to enforcing an evolving set or orders – Withrow has been vocal and proactive about how the sheriff’s office is handling the issues as they arise.

When a state agency ordered the release of those awaiting court hearings because of concerns about the virus, Withrow was vocal in his displeasure about the move and was public about contracting the virus himself.

He has since made a full recovery.

While news of the pending curfew has created concern amongst residents, Withrow used his address to try and calm the fears of the public and reassure residents that his officers are not going to be storming homes or pulling over drivers as a result of the attempt to curb the virus.

“That is not the governor’s intent, and that is not what the board of supervisors or our public health officer want us to do,” Withrow said. “We’re just here, doing what we’ve always done – helping our businesses and our public get through this and we’re going to do everything that we can to educate people to stay safe and work collaborative with our community here to make sure that we stay safe and healthy.

“So, relax – nothing is going to change on our end. If you see statements from other sheriff’s about things, don’t worry about that – we’re all going to get through this in San Joaquin County and we’re going to continue to work with you and help you folks.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.