Q&A: Local police departments field calls concerning Tarrant County’s stay-at-home order

Local police departments are receiving more calls related to what activities are permissible under Tarrant County’s executive order to stay at home. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Local police departments are receiving more calls related to what activities are permissible under Tarrant County’s executive order to stay at home. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Local police departments are receiving more calls related to what activities are permissible under Tarrant County’s executive order to stay at home. (Courtesy Fotolia)

The Grapevine and Colleyville police departments are receiving more calls related to what activities are permissible under Tarrant County’s executive order to stay at home, officials with both police departments said. The Southlake Police Department was not immediately available for comment.

All three police departments are not stopping vehicles for being on the road.



“We understand people have essential travel needs and our officers are not going to stop drivers without cause,” a message from the Colleyvile Police Department’s Facebook page said.



The post went on to list that driving to work, the grocery store and even to the Colleyville Nature Center to get in some exercise are all permissible under the executive order.

Colleyville police Chief Michael Miller said his department will always use the power of persuasion over punishment if called to investigate an alleged incident of someone violating the executive order.

“If called, we will work with our citizens and help educate the public in an effort to gain voluntary compliance with the city’s declaration and county order,” he said in an email. “Enforcement action will only be taken as a last resort.”

Officers across the county are trying not to fill up the jails with people committing nonviolent or misdemeanor crimes, per a March 24 Tarrant County press conference.

“We have seen great compliance with the order here in Colleyville,” Miller said in an email.

The Grapevine Police Department has received a few calls about people being concerned when they see people outside even though this is still allowed as long as social distancing is maintained, said Amanda McNew, media manager for the Grapevine Police Department.

She said in addition to not stopping vehicles without cause, the department is encouraging people to go online for services instead of in person. This can be done for items such as some police reports, records requests, and paying permits and fines.



The following are answers to some commonly asked questions regarding the county’s order.

Where am I allowed to go?

  • To access medical care, such as from dentists or doctors

  • To grocery stores, pet or home supply stores to purchase essential needs

  • To pick up food from restaurants

  • To engage in outdoor activities if the social distancing requirement of 6 feet from others is met

  • To care for family members or pets at another household

  • To work at an essential business


What is an essential business?


  • Government work

  • Health care

  • Infrastructure

  • Restaurants

  • Retailers

  • Suppliers

  • News media

  • Child care

  • Nonprofits and social services


What activities are not allowed during this time?


  • In-person religious gatherings

  • Elective medical procedures, including surgical and dental work

  • Social gatherings of more than 10 people that are not from the same household

  • Dining in at bars and restaurants

  • Visiting nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance


What are the penalties for violating the order?


  • A fine of up to $1,000 for each violation or confinement for up to 180 days


Will I be stopped by the police to see if I am violating the order during this time?


  • No. Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake police officers will not contact community members solely to determine if their travel violates the order, but traffic violations will still be enforced.


Where can I report a possible violation of the order?


  • Grapevine:

    • To make a complaint, a person can contact the city’s code services department at 817-410-3165 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.



  • Colleyville:

    • To make a complaint, contact the nonemergency public safety number at 817-743-4522.



  • Southlake:

    • To make a call during regular business hours, a person can call the nonemergency public safety number at 817-743-4522.




This is not a comprehensive list. For more information, view the complete order click here.

​​​​​​​

Emily Davis contributed to this report.

Editor's note: The original post has been edited to correct an error. The nonemergency number for the Colleyville Police Department is 817-743-4522.
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the Frisco and McKinney editions.


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