Ashley Moody, Law Enforcement Leaders Call on Floridians to Continue to Practice Social Distancing

State Attorney General Ashley Moody called on Floridians to continue social distancing, insisting it will protect law enforcement officers and medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moody weighed in on the subject on Monday.

“My heart goes out to our law enforcement officers and medical professionals risking their health and safety to fight this pandemic. While most Floridians are obeying the statewide stay-at-home order, some are abandoning the advice of health experts—forcing law enforcement into more face-to-face encounters than necessary,” Moody said.

“Sadly, several of these heroes have already succumbed to this highly-contagious disease and even more have been exposed and are in quarantine. Please remember that your actions, no matter how harmless they seem, may have unintended consequences far beyond anything you can imagine. Listen to our health experts, obey the stay-at-home order and help ease the burden on those risking their lives for us every day during one of the worst pandemics in modern history,” Moody added.

Law enforcement leaders from across the Sunshine State also encouraged Floridians to continue to practice social distancing.

“During this pandemic, it is critically important for all Floridians to take the advice of our medical experts. We need to socially distance ourselves to stop the spread of this deadly disease. Sheriffs strongly encourage you to stay home to stay safe. Your actions today will save lives tomorrow,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who is the president of the Florida Sheriffs Association.

Temple Terrace Police Chief Kenneth Albano, who is the president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association, also called on Floridians to continue to practice social distancing.

“Police chiefs throughout the state are of course very concerned for their police officers as well as all other law enforcement and first responders as we all continue to serve the public through this unprecedented crisis in our state and across our nation. We are steadfastly committed to protecting our communities, while at the same time fully aware of the increased risks of exposure it places on our own lives,” Albano said.

“We ask the public to help us by adhering to the executive orders issued by Governor Ron DeSantis, as well as those orders issued by other local government officials across the state. Remember to wash your hands frequently, practice appropriate social distancing and to demonstrate patience and appreciation for the efforts and sacrifices of everyone. We are all in this together and together, we will overcome this most difficult and trying time,” Albano added.

“On April 4, the Broward Sheriff’s Office announced the passing of Deputy Shannon Bennett due to COVID-19. The very next day, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office announced that Sergeant Jose Diaz Ayala lost his battle to COVID-19 and other underlying health issues. On April 7, three Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies performed CPR on a civilian who tested positive for COVID-19. The deputies were put under a 14-day quarantine,” Moody’s office noted. “On March 9, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Florida due to the COVID-19 virus. On April 1, the governor issued a statewide stay-at-home order. Violating an emergency declaration in Florida carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Violations are enforced by local law enforcement.”

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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