OKLAHOMA CITY — The State Attorney General clarified law enforcement’s role regarding Wednesday’s Safer at Home executive order.

Attorney General Mike Hunter released information regarding law enforcement’s action relating to individuals or business owners that do not comply with the governor’s executive order.

“The guidelines in the governor’s executive order call for Oklahomans to act in the best interest of their fellow citizens,” Hunter said in a statement. “What we are calling on more than anything is for Oklahomans to be good citizens, good neighbors and comply with the governor’s executive order, as well as the ordinances of local governments, to protect one another from this deadly illness.”

Hunter said that while a violation of an executive order can be a misdemeanor, law enforcement officers are counseled to inform and persuade to effect compliance when confronted with violations. They are emphasizing the gravity of the ongoing public health emergency with COVID-19.

“This is not intended to undercut law enforcement’s ability to make decisions based on their training, discretion and the facts of any given situation,” he said. “Rather, this statement is provided to support and enable law enforcement to make sound, fact-based decisions given the circumstances while appropriately balancing the interests of public safety and public health.”

Calling it an unprecedented time, Hunter reminded the public that the coronavirus has and will continue to cause profound disruptions in everyone’s lives and livelihoods. This also takes into consideration those who have become ill or have died. Compliance saves lives, he said.

“But rest assured, by following the advice of our state, municipal, county and federal leaders, and complying with the measures laid out in the governor’s executive order, we will save lives,” he said.

Written by Scott. Rains: scott.rains@swoknews.com.

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