Governor Cuomo: Local Police Not Doing Significant COVID-19 Compliance Efforts
For the last two days, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has brought up how the State Liquor Authority and the State Police have been doing that which the local government hasn’t. Policing establishments for COVID-19 related offenses.
Yet, it’s not just yesterday and today that the Governor has made such complaints. He’s been underscoring the need for such compliance enforcement since June.
It was in the middle of that month that he first demonstrated his distress over non compliance issues in NYC. Images and videos of crowds congregating outside alcohol serving establishments could be found on social media. Such gatherings were filled with people violating social distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
Weeks thereafter NYC Mayor de Blasio would finally go against his pledge to not mix such adherence enforcement with law enforcement. He would make use of the NYC Sheriff’s Office to help in safeguarding the city’s outdoor dining initiative. It was through this plan that the city witnessed scores of groups hanging about outside bars and restaurants imbibing alcohol and again, not abiding by regulations.
It was through the Governor’s decision to involve State Police and investigators from the State’s Liquor Authority that the number of violations had dropped. However, with nearly every press conference he would make mention of the city’s reluctance to perform their duties.
Governor’s statement yesterday:
“Our enforcement efforts are continuing. The infection rate isn’t staying down by anything other than the consequence of our actions so we’re continuing the enforcement actions. We did one in Brooklyn, one in Queens, one in Staten Island, one in Suffolk. Those are done by the State Liquor Authority and the State Police. Again, call on local governments – they’re supposed to be doing the compliance. They don’t make the decisions of what opens and what closes but they do do the compliance and they have to do a better job. New York City needs to use the NYPD. New York City relies on its Sheriff’s Department to do compliance. It’s not going to be effective. There is only 150 people in the Sherriff’s Department. There is 30-something thousand NYPD. I understand the issues they have in New York City but they have to do compliance. Otherwise you’re going to see the numbers go up.”
“On the enforcement effort, ongoing enforcement efforts on compliance, as you know the State Liquor Authority and the State Police have supplemented actions where the local police have not been doing significant compliance efforts. They’ve done a really good job, the task force of the SLA and the State Police. They did 1,000 visits yesterday so that’s really amazing and they did two violations in Queens, New York City, but what we’re finding is compliance is much better than it had been so the establishments are getting the message, following the law and if you notice over time the number of violations has been dropping. That’s because the establishments know that we’re serious and we’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks and we’ve stayed with it and think about it – just one night, 1,000 visits. Look, 99 percent of the establishments were following the law. It was a handful of bad actors. That’s what it always is – people who were exploiting the situation and I think they got the message and the numbers suggest they got the message.”