Lexington police get 86 calls about people ignoring social distancing over the weekend
Governor Andy Beshear often says Kentuckians are doing a great job with keeping up social distancing, but some in our community are not doing their part.
The Lexington Police Department now has a call-in dispatch system dedicated to possible public health hazards when people ignore social distancing. How many calls did it get this past weekend? 86, according to spokesperson Brenna Angel.
"A yard sale, garage sale to people gathering playing basketball in a park," says Angel.
While these gatherings seem counterproductive and unsafe, officers say there's not much they can do legally. Lexington mayor Linda Gorton says some states are fining people up to $2,000 dollars. She says Kentucky's state government has not recommended this.
"It's kind of like recycling we never mandated recycling here, we educated people and then we brought them along to understand why it's a good thing, and now most of our people recycle," says Gorton.
There is one circumstance where officers can put their foot down.
"If someone is gathering in a place that is closed such as private property or a park where the facility has been closed such as a playground or a ball field where they are not supposed to be there if they don't leave we can criminally site them with criminal trespass," says Angel.
With holidays and warmer weather on the way, experts say we can't let our guard down against this invisible enemy.
"Officers are still working, are still waiting to respond, we just ask people to practice good social distancing for the safety of our officers, for the safety of themselves and their family members. We are all in this together, we are gonna get through it, but we need everyone to have that buy-in and to take heed with the recommendations," says Angel.
Angel says if you see a gathering you can report it by calling the non-emergency line at (859)-258-3600.