Pullman police want to help educate the community about the importance of following Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order but warn they’re prepared to issue tickets and even make arrests in cases involving blatant disregard of prohibitions on public gatherings.
In a press release issued Wednesday, the department said its officers will remind community members, as appropriate, of the conditions of the governor’s order, which requires people to stay at home whenever possible to keep themselves, their families and their community safe as a result of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state.
However, when education and warning do not achieve compliance, the department said individuals who blatantly disregard Gov. Inslee’s proclamations by hosting or organizing a party or similar social event will be subject to ticket and/or arrest.
A joint advisory from Pullman police and WSU also was sent to fraternities and sororities following the governor’s order. “Very simply, this means no gathering of any type is allowed,” the letter, signed by Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins and WSU Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Jill Creighton along with members of the university’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, reads.
It advises that flagrant disregard of these orders not only risks citation and arrest by police but could lead to referral for alleged violations of the Student Standards of Conduct, and jeopardize chapter status with the Greek Standards Board Process.
The Pullman Police Department recognizes some people need to carry out essential duties, such as going to the pharmacy to pick up a medication or going to the grocery store to get food. These people will not be targeted and officers will not be making traffic stops to find out where people are going.
For more information on whether a specific activity qualifies as an essential service, visit the Pullman Police Department’s webpage.