Police will start citing residents ignoring stay home orders this weekend

Starting this weekend, Long Beach police officers are being given the discretion to cite people who ignore the city’s stay home orders, Police Chief Robert Luna said during a telephone town hall, Wednesday afternoon.

The stay home order, implemented to slow the spread of coronavirus, requires that all non-essential businesses close and residents stay home unless they are an essential worker, grocery shopping or caring for another person. Residents can still go on walks in their neighborhoods as long as they practice social distancing and stay six feet away from others.

The city has also closed all public beaches, trails, sports courts, golf courses, dog parks, playgrounds, skate parks, public park and public beach parking lots and picnic areas.

Luna said a citation for not following the order can cost up to $1,000 and is a misdemeanor, which would go on the violator’s record.

“That is absolutely the last thing we want to do as a police department,” Luna said. “But we also understand that the health of our neighbors are the top priority.”

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.