Sheriffs don't plan on enforcing 10-person rule for family gatherings

New York State Sheriffs’ Association issues response to Governor's orders

Posted 11/23/20

Planning a family Thansgiving and worried about what might happen if it should exceed the 10-person limit mandated by Governor Cuomo? Chances are, nothing will happen, according to the New York State …

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Sheriffs don't plan on enforcing 10-person rule for family gatherings

New York State Sheriffs’ Association issues response to Governor's orders

Posted

Planning a family Thansgiving and worried about what might happen if it should exceed the 10-person limit mandated by Governor Cuomo? Chances are, nothing will happen, according to the New York State Sheriff's Association.

In response to many questions from concerned residents about the possibility of law enforcement officers knocking on your door on Thanksgiving Day, Charles J. Gallo, Deputy Executive Director of the NYSSA called the mandate "unenforceable."

"We do not know if the Governor’s limit on home gatherings to ten individuals is the right number or not.," said Gallo in a stetement released Monday. "That is a decision for science, not us, to make. We do know, however, that the Governor has attempted to foist upon local law enforcement an impossible task. How are officers to know, without violating citizens’ right to privacy and other Constitutional rights, how many people are in the home? How are they to determine if the family gathering is to be deemed “essential” or “non- essential”? If twelve people normally reside in the home, are the officers to order two of them to move out? If eleven individuals are found to be present in the home, who is to be charged with violating the order, all eleven or just the last guest to arrive? Or is it only the homeowner who is in violation? Are officers really supposed to arrest guests who don’t stay 6 feet apart or who fail to have on their face masks during dinner?

"All of those are serious questions which make it impossible for law enforcement to know how to legally enforce the Governor’s order. They are questions that could have been addressed if we had a functioning State Legislature, creating clear and enforceable laws after input from those who would be impacted by them. Instead we are faced with an unenforceable dictate issued without any consultation with law enforcement or the public as toenforceability."

Gallo did urge residents to limit limit their exposure to those outside your household as much as you reasonably can.

"We in law enforcement do not have the resources nor the legal authority to force you to do those things," Gallo said. "It is a matter of individual responsibility and we are confident that you will all voluntarily rise to the occasion."

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