Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel commended members of the Detroit Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office for their concerted efforts to enforce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order. Southeast Michigan currently has the highest number of positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state and is considered one of the nation’s hotspots for the virus.
Both agencies have lost members to COVID-19, including Capt. Jonathan Parnell and a department dispatcher from the Detroit Police Department, and Commander Donafay Collins and Deputy Dean Savard from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
“Law enforcement officers know from the minute they step foot in the academy that they are signing up for a life-and-death mission,” Nessel said. “They prepare for it, spending hours at the shooting range, learning expert driving maneuvers, practicing ways to diffuse the most difficult and dangerous of situations and always – always – learning to be courageous enough to run in when others run out.
“It is for them that we take this moment to pay tribute to Detroit Police Department Capt. Jonathan Parnell and a department dispatcher, along with the souls of Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Commander Donafay Collins and Deputy Dean Savard – who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in the most unexpected way – in a way that bulletproof vests and all the range practice in the world couldn’t protect them from.
“Like our health care workers, our law enforcement officers are also on the front lines of our current public health crisis,” Nessel continued. “It is because of them – fearless, committed and sincere protectors in our communities – that we’re reminded to live each day to ensure their ultimate sacrifice isn’t in vain.
“To their families, there are no words to adequately describe our deepest condolences during this time of heartbreaking grief and sorrow. Please remember that you too are heroes among us as we owe you a debt of gratitude that we can never pay in full. Thank you for your loved one’s service and thank you for sharing them with all of us.
“To every resident in this great state of Michigan, your life depends on doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do your part so that no one else has to sacrifice their life. Do your part so that no else has to mourn that sacrifice.”
Roughly 47 percent of the state’s more than 20,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases are located in Wayne County, which also has around 446 of the state’s 959 deaths, according to the latest figures available.
The Stay Home, Stay Safe order prohibits any person or entity from operating a business or conducting operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence, except to the extent those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct basic minimum operations.
Over the past weekend, the Detroit Police Department in its effort to enforce the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order checked 792 locations for violations and gave 369 warnings. It also issued 74 citations, engaged two non-compliant businesses and broke up nine parties. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has received about a dozen complaints of violations and has issued several warnings.
Willful violations of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can result in a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense, as well as licensing penalties for businesses and other entities. Violations should be reported to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.
A summary of the activities people can and cannot do under the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order can be found online here.