Frisco Police Sgt. Evan Mattei, who serves as the department’s public information officer, said enforcement actions “are going to be dependent on the situation.” Mattei said Wednesday that citizens are mostly complying. The department has received few calls about people not in compliance, he said, adding that the Denton County order had not officially gone into effect.
The Denton County’s stay-at-home order begins at 11:59 p.m. March 25 and lasts for seven days. Under the order, residents are mandated to stay at home except to perform specific essential activities and work to provide essential business and government services.
The order lists essential businesses as including essential healthcare operations, essential government functions, education, essential critical infrastructure, essential retail, providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations, essential services necessary to maintain essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, news media and childcare services.
Collin County issued a stay-at-home order on March 24 that took effect immediately and also lasts for seven days. The order states that all people are ordered to stay home, except for travel related to essential activities, but did not define essential activities and businesses.
In a news release issued March 24, Frisco officials said the city would apply the definitions of “essential” used by Denton County, since Collin County’s order did not define the term.
Mattei explained that under the Denton County order, violators can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 or jail time, but said those will likely be used as a last resort by officers.
“Our goal in any enforcement capacity is going to be voluntary compliance,” Mattei said. “We want to impress upon people the importance of the measures that the county and the city are taking to protect people. But outside of that, where there's a violation, we'll address it where needed.”
Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said police officers on patrol can step in when people are not in compliance.
“Just like any law or ordinance that we have in place, when we put it out there, we expect our residents to follow the law,” Cheney said. “[Officers] are going through their normal enforcement procedures, and it's a tool in their toolkit if they see something that is not how it should be and is against the orders for them to make corrective actions.”
Mattei said one citizen called the department about a group congregating at a skate park.
“So we went out and addressed it,” he said.
The sergeant said things like that can often be handled by simply having officers tell the group to disperse over their public address systems.
“The most important message that I would want to convey is that the Frisco Police Department's still going to be here,” Mattei said. “We're still going to be working for the citizens of Frisco and keeping them safe from all manners of crime like we always do in the city.”