Unlike some others, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office plans to enforce statewide curfew


(Watch a portion of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus news conference from Thursday in the video player above)

CINCINNATI (WJW)– The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said it will enforce the statewide curfew, which goes into effect at 10 p.m. Thursday.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued the 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. curfew in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. It will run for 21 days.

“We’re asking all citizens and businesses to comply with the order. Restaurants and bars must stop serving in-person customers at 10 p.m. during the curfew period. Takeout, however, can remain open beyond 10 p.m.,” the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Thursday.

The sheriff’s office said violators will receive a verbal warning to comply with the order, then be cited with a second-degree misdemeanor.

“My goal as sheriff of Hamilton County is to keep my deputies and the general public safe,” Sheriff Jim Neil said.

The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency or those in need of medical care. Residents can still go grocery shopping, got to the pharmacy and pick up carryout. Neil also said residents can still take their dogs outside or go for a walk.

Other sheriff’s offices were vocal about not enforcing the curfew or mask orders, with Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones saying he is not the curfew police. Geauga County Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand said there is no law to enforce it.

“We do not have the authority, the time or the willingness to even attempt to enforce this. Your deputies will continue to enforce laws and investigate crimes in the county to keep people safe,” Hildenbrand said.

On Thursday, DeWine said the curfew is not meant to be punitive, instead it’s intended to change behavior to reduce contact with orders.

“We do not anticipate police pulling someone over if they see them driving at night. We should assume they have a legitimate reason to be out there,” DeWine said.

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