PASCO, WA - Local law enforcement sees a spike in calls since the stay-at-home order was announced by Gov. Jay Inslee. If you have concerns or would like to report suspected violations on the new order, people are asked to follow their guidelines.
Pasco Police Department's official said the police will not stop you to ask where you are going and why. However, if they notice people congregating together they will probably question you.
"We just want people to stay safe, we want family members to stay home," Sgt. Rigo Pruneda said. "If they can, do not go outside and do not congregate."
Pruneda said people should not call 911 to report on individuals or groups that is not complying to the new order. He said you should call your local law enforcement agency instead.
"Because you see three, four or five people, we do not really want to see those calls coming in. We rather see calls where there is ten, fifteen or a large group of people," Pruneda said.
Whether people are riding their bikes or walking around the track, as long as people stay away from one family to another Pasco Police is OK with that.
"Now if there is a big barbecue going on or a big birthday party, things like that," Pruneda said. "We do need to be inform."
To report on business that is not following the new order, you should go to the governor's website at coronavirus.wa.gov to report on suspected business violations. Pruneda said people should not call their dispatch center.
Pruneda said 911 prank calls have also spiked since schools have closed.
"Please educate your children that dialing 911 is not a joke," Pruneda said. "Police officers will be showing up to your home if 911 is being called."
He said anytime a prank call is received, it takes away the opportunity for law enforcement to help a caller who has an actual emergency.
"By calling 911 to prank, you will see police officers knocking on your door to see what is going on, because they have to find out if there is really an emergency there or not," Pruneda said.
Pruneda said other than the spiked up calls, the community has been doing very well.
"We have seen a lot of people social distancing in grocery stores and practicing social distancing," Pruneda said. "We appreciate that."
Pasco Police wants everyone to stay safe and stay healthy. Pruneda said people should stay home and limit contact with people because it would help stop the spread of COVID-19.