Sheriff tells Orange County residents don’t call 9-1-1 for Thanksgiving COVID-19 complaints

SANTA ANA, CA – A California Sheriff is telling residents to not call 9-1-1 to report their neighbors on Thanksgiving because nobody will respond to the call.  Sheriff Don Barnes says California Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest COVID-19 lockdown and effort to reduce how many people can be at Thanksgiving dinners is not a matter for law enforcement to handle, but for state agencies imposing those draconian orders.

“The Governor’s latest health orders have created a significant amount of uncertainty in the community regarding the feasibility and constitutionality of enforcing modified stay-at-home orders,” Sheriff Barnes said. “Let me be clear- this is a matter of personal responsibility and not a matter of law enforcement. Orange County Sheriff’s deputies will not be dispatched to, or respond to, calls for service to enforce compliance with face coverings, social gatherings, or stay-at-home orders only. Deputies will respond to calls for potentially criminal behavior and for the protection of life or property.”

Barnes said he is comfortable letting the community continue policing themselves when it comes to compliance with health department issues and so far, Barnes said the community has done a fine job doing it.

“Orange County residents have been diligent over the last eight months in striking a balance between protecting ourselves from COVID-19 and doing what is necessary to continue to live our lives,” Barnes added. “Collectively we must do everything we can to protect our friends, family and community. I continue to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. I encourage others to continue to do so because it will prevent the spread of COVID-19. On behalf of the almost 4,000 men and women of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, we wish you and your family a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.”