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Police will not pull you over because of Safer at Home order

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Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 22:08:21-04

Local law enforcement agencies are trying to quell rumors regarding the new safer at home order issued by Governor Tony Evers that takes effect Wednesday.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office said they've had two people impersonating an officer trying to enforce the order, in a way they would not.

The first one happened Tuesday morning. A man pulled over a woman on her way to work and told her she needed to go back home.

"He explained she needed to return home or face a $250 fine," said Captain Jody Lemmens with the Brown County Sheriff's Office.

Wednesday afternoon, another man walked up to someone in a parking lot demanding to see their certification papers.

But this is not how deputies will be enforcing the Governor's order. Lemmens said these situations have only added additional fear.

"We will not be doing random traffic stops to check why people are out and about," she said. "Officers, that hasn't changed, we need to have reasonable justification to have traffic stops. So obviously if someone is in violation they could still be stopped."

Lemmens said they are asking for voluntary compliance, and for people and businesses to use common sense when thinking of heading outside.

The Sheriff's Office is still looking to identify the two men pretending to be officers. If you have any information you're asked to call the department.

  • Suspect #1: White male in his 30's with a short, neatly trimmed bear. He was wearing a green uniform and black ball cap with no insignia. The caller said he was driving a blue or black Chevy Impala with a license plate reading "BENJAMIN." The vehicle had red and blue lights along the windshield.
  • Suspect #2: While male in his late 30's or early 40's and clean shaven. He was wearing a brown officer-type uniform and said he was with the sheriff's office.

Again, the Sheriff's Office, along with Appleton Police and Green Bay Police, all released similar statements: Officers will not pull over drivers because of the Safer at Home order.

Green Bay Police issued a news release to clarify some details about what officers will and will not do. Specifically, police will not be setting up checkpoints of any kind. Police are also not randomly stopping vehicles to determine the driver's reason for travel based on the Safer at Home Order. Officers still have to have a valid reason for a traffic stop.

"We have a procedure in place to review, investigate, and deploy resources regarding complaints of violations by businesses or illegal large gatherings," Green Bay Police say in a release.

Also, Green Bay Police said there is no new curfew. The juvenile nighttime curfew that has been in effect for years is still in effect. Juveniles need to be home by 10:00 pm.

When it comes to enforcing parts of the order that includes a ban on gatherings, Green Bay Police said officers will ask for voluntary compliance and for the group to disperse. If officers respond to a business that is not essential, police will educate the owner and ask for voluntary compliance.

Green Bay Police said officers have the discretion to charge violators through the Brown County District Attorney Office for Safer at Home Order violations.

Police also said employees do not need a letter from their employer to drive back and forth from work.

If you are in a situation where you're unsure of who is pulling you over. Lemmens said if you're in a rural area, you can call 911 and they can confirm if it is their officer. If you're in a higher traffic spot, she said to pull over in a well-lit area and somewhere where there might be witnesses to view the traffic stop.

Due to the order, several police departments including the sheriff's office, have received numerous calls about what the order means. Lemmens said its best to try and find the answers online first before giving them a call. She said they've been pushing out as much information as they can onFacebook.

"We're hoping for this to end as quickly as it started," Lemmens added.