There shall be Enforcement, Sayeth Governor Cuomo. Mayor de Blasio Doesn’t Agree So Much
Defined, ‘Enforcement’ is the act of seeing to the obeying of law (or rules) by force or compulsion.
On Wednesday, July 1, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a COVID-19 State Enforcement Department would be created as a supplement to local governments. It would exist to help in assuring that citizens are adhering to State mandated guidelines and rules set forth in the fight against the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
The Governor’s expressed his disapproval of NYC’s residents’ behavior for weeks now. On Tuesday, he stated that members of the State Police, State Liquor Authority and the State Health Department would be in the city to observe whether social distancing adherence and other concerns were being carried out. It was clear from his Wednesday press briefing that he was still not satisfied.
It’s also been clear that Mr. Cuomo was not happy with the way local government in New York City was enforcing adherence.
“Their job, local government’s job, testing, tracing, enforcement of compliance. That is their main job. I take all the abuse for the opening and reopening: too slow, too fast. I don’t have a problem with that. They had one job. Testing, tracing and enforce the compliance. They must do it. If you have citizen compliance dropping, and you don’t have local governments enforcing— then you’re going to see the virus go up. Period. … And you see it. If you open your eyes, you see the citizen compliance slipping. You see government compliance not correcting it. What’s going to happen? The virus is going to spread. It’s that simple; it’s that clear. That is the reality. The virus spreads.”
I asked NYC Mayor de Blasio about this on Wednesday and he took issue with the mention of police.
“There’s a separate question about enforcing folks who are outdoors, and we all – we have a lot of civilian agencies that are constantly going to make sure that we do not have outdoor groupings and address them. It’s not perfect, but, overwhelmingly, let’s be clear, overwhelmingly New York City residents respect social distancing, wear their face coverings, don’t want to get each other sick,” said the Mayor. “What I think we should be very careful about is that is not a role for police. It’s not a role for a city police or State Police to enforce social distancing. We learned that through experience and we are honest about it. We had to change that. We’re not going to do it that way. I don’t think the State Police should either.”
Clearly, due to past incidents between the NYPD and the city residents, the Mayor has been turned off completely by the application of law enforcement where social distancing adherence is concerned.
Whether the Governor, at some point, will speak to this is unclear.
On Thursday, July 2 the Mayor was asked a question by a reporter from the NY Post whether he had anything to say about Governor’s concerns over his handling of social distancing as it pertained to the postponement of indoor dining.
“No, the reason that indoor dining didn’t make sense was the data we received from states all over the country, and that really picked up in the last week or so and it became deafening how bad the situation was in many, many states and how much it was late related back to bars and restaurants. That was the reason. The enforcement has been strong, but it’s also been smart,” said the Mayor.
‘and once again, the May would defend his stance on not involving the NYPD.
“We did not believe, and we tried and realized it was a mistake, we do not believe that police officers should be doing social distancing enforcement. We believe it should be civilians.”