BREWSER – Police officers in Brewster is taking an education approach to Gov. Jay Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order concerning coronavirus.
Inslee issued the order March 23 to be effective March 25.
“The primary role of the Brewster Police Department is to help educate people about how to comply with the order to stay home,” said Chief Marcos Ruiz. “The Brewster Police Department does not have any desire to make any arrests, or to take anybody to jail for any violations of the ‘stay home’ order.”
Officers are not going around to different neighborhoods and areas checking to see if people are out when they shouldn’t be, he said.
“We understand some people need to carry out essential duties. We just want people to listen to the order and stay home if they don’t need to be out,” he said.
There have been many rumors, and posts on social media about “martial law,” “essential work ID” and curfew. Those are all false, the chief said.
He suggests people visit the county emergency management and health district websites to get the most up-to-date, accurate information.
In addition, the Brewster Police Department has set up an emergency Facebook page as a way to help get information out to the public.
“The information put out will come from Okanogan County Emergency Management, Okanogan County Public Health, the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, the mayor of Brewster, the City of Brewster and the Brewster Police Department,” Ruiz said.
“COVID-19 is currently circulating in Okanogan County, but if we all follow the ‘stay home’ order, and only leave your house when it is necessary, we can stop the transmission to others, our loved ones and our vulnerable people,” he said.
Because of COVID-19 there have been many changes at the national, state, county and city levels, he said.
“With that, the Brewster Police Department remains fully staffed and responding to calls, with some changes,” Ruiz said. “At times an officer will handle the call over the phone, ask you to step outside to talk or even to step back, and the front desk is closed to in-person contact, all for social distancing,” said Ruiz.
“Brewster officers are equipped with and at times might wear PPE (personal protective equipment) which can be mask, gloves, face shield, respirator or even a TYVEK suit, all for personal protection,” he said. “If you do see an officer wearing that type of equipment it does not mean the officer or the person they are contacting has COVID-19, it is just a precaution. Rest assured the Brewster Police Department remains active, responding to calls and protecting the safety of the citizens of Brewster.”