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How will Pueblo's coronavirus curfew be enforced?

"We're hoping that we have a lot of voluntary compliance"
How will Pueblo's coronavirus curfew be enforced?
Posted at 3:01 AM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 08:25:43-04

PUEBLO — Violations of the Pueblo curfew starting on Friday night include potential fines and jail time. The curfew is set to last until Nov. 13, and runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Essential travel is still allowed.

At a protest against increased restrictions on local businesses, News5 met Felicia Beltran, who has lived in Pueblo since 1991.

"For the most part, I feel like a lot of our citizens are going to abide. They want to do the right thing, they want to protect their fellow family and friends. But, there's also going to be the people that regardless of what you institute into law, they're going to break it. And there's going to be people who are just going to be intentional, and rebellious, and I don't really think it's going to do anybody any good," said Beltran.

Beltran said the new curfew will be difficult to enforce. "I think that it's going to take the focus off major crimes that should be focused on... I think people are going to keep doing what they're doing. I think they're just going to do it in secret, and I think that we're going to have a lot of people who are going to have to shut their doors because of it," said Beltran.

Sgt. Franklyn Ortega of the Pueblo Police Department said they are hoping for voluntary compliance with the curfew, and writing citations will be up to the officer's discretion. He said they will not be creating a curfew patrol.

"If you know, in the normal course of our duties, we come across people that are blatantly violating the curfew, then we'll probably give them a ticket... If you're going to pick up a medication, if you're going to buy food, if you're going to work, situations like that are obviously allowed," said Ortega.

Ortega also said the curfew is for the wellbeing of the community. "We're at a critical stage here, where we might go back to a shutdown because of our numbers, and this is just one measure to try and get us back to where we can manage this in a better, safer way," he said.

The curfew comes ahead of Halloween, but the Pueblo Police Department is holding a drive-thru trunk or treat on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

El Paso County Public Health has a follow-up meeting with the state on Friday and should have a clearer idea of where the county is headed after that. If El Paso County has to move to a more restrictive level on the Colorado COVID dial, the largest impact would be reduced capacities across a variety of industries.

RELATED:
Pueblo mayor announces 2-week curfew to combat rising COVID-19 numbers