A COVID-19 MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF – March 24, 2020
“Hi, Chief Larry Gonzalez with RPD here with another important message. This time, it’s about the Governor’s stay at home order and how it relates to our local businesses in Riverside.
We’ve been receiving many calls, messages, and complaints from community members about essential businesses, such as restaurants or bars, that are open but not complying with the current orders issued by the state. Or, gatherings at businesses taking place that have 10 or more people. As well as businesses that provide services deemed non-essential that are still operating.
The Governor’s Office has defined what are essential and non-essential services and the types of businesses that can remain open while the stay at home order in effect. We want to remind everyone that these orders were put in place for good reason… to help decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to adhere to the stay at home order.
We don’t want our Public Safety Dispatchers inundated with these complaints. Instead, we want you to use the City of Riverside’s 3-1-1 mobile app to report these potential violations. You can also contact the call center by email at CallCenter@riversideca.gov or (951) 826-5311.
If our officers observe a possible violation, what will they do? Well, I’ve asked them to make contact at the business to educate the owners or management of the order, the potential health risks, and to ask for their voluntary compliance. We don’t want to take action, but if the business won’t comply, then we will document it and work with the County Department of Environment Health and City Attorney's Office. If we deem it a public health risk, then we will have to take enforcement action.
What if we see a group of 10 or more people gathered in a park, yard, or other open area not practicing social distancing? You can also report this to 3-1-1. Our police officers, firefighters, and public utilities personnel have COVID-19 information cards to pass out as a friendly reminder if they see it themselves.
As your police department, we know the strain this COVID-19 pandemic is having on our local businesses. We understand how tough it is being limited to your home or yard, especially with kids.
All of the steps taken by our government are for your health, your kids and grandkids health, your parents’ health… the health of all of us. And remember, maintain your social distancing and keep those hands clean. We are all in this together and can do our part to help flatten the curve.
Lastly, our city is pushing out updates on COVID-19 as often as we can, so stay informed by going to the RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19 website and following our City, Police, Fire, and Office of Emergency Management social media.
Stay safe, Riverside... and remain informed.”
- Larry V. Gonzalez
For all COVID-19 related information from the City of Riverside, go to www.RiversideCA.gov/COVID-19.