A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

In the Covid ‘freeze,’ expect no arrests

Written November 18th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

The Albany police headquarters last January, in the good old days before Covid-19.

Despite tough talk from Governor Brown, don’t expect anyone to be hauled off in handcuffs in Albany or elsewhere in Oregon for violating her new executive order for a coronavirus “freeze.”

A day before the order took effect today, the Oregon State Police along with the Oregon associations of police chiefs and sheriffs issued a statement. “Oregon law enforcement will continue to follow an education first approach,” they said. Enforcement action, meaning misdemeanor citations for violating the executive order, would be a “last resort.”

In Albany, Police Chief Marcia Harnden said her department agreed with the approach and tone expressed in the statewide statement from law enforcement. “Education first,” rather than citations or other actions, has been the Albany policy all along.

On its website, the police department took down a form for reporting violations that had been up since the first statewide corona lockdown in March. Some people had publicized the form on social media, and it came across as though the police were inviting citizens to rat out their neighbors, which was not the intent.

For at least two weeks starting Nov. 18, the governor’s order among other things shut down a number of indoor venues, limited restaurants and bars to deliveries and take-out, and banned social gatherings of more than six people from more than two households. The latter would apply to Thanksgiving family dinners.

In their statement, Oregon police agencies said: “We cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic. We can, however, work together in following these restrictions to make our communities a safer and healthy place.”

Albany’s Harnden has family in Washington state, from where she came last year to become chief of police. She won’t go see them for Thanksgiving, and they won’t come to Albany.

“Please take a breath,” she advised people in their reaction to the new restrictions. “Be smart about it.” (hh)




9 responses to “In the Covid ‘freeze,’ expect no arrests”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Unable to inspire community commitment to unite against the spread of the virus, the Gov instead chooses empty threats and fake consequences.

    Grant her extra brownie points for using stern words uttered with glum facial expressions.

    People are not fooled. The empress has no clothes.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    I’m shocked….SHOCKED I tell you….that the Gov didn’t take the CDC cue and order all Oregonians to stop singing, with greater criminal charges for lyrics that start with B and P.

    A missed opportunity to further exercise her spindly authoritarian muscles.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      And we’re all passionately waiting for your solution to the problem –that will cause no harm to anyone or any group/sector of the economy…

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        I’m transitioning to progressive ideals, so 80% of my solution is consistent with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of Biden’s “experts” on Covid.

        Everyone 75 and over should not try to prolong their life. If a person 75+ gets the virus, their approach to healthcare should be to give up and not seek care.

        As the good Doctor said, “Living too long is also a loss.”

        Such an inspiration….don’t you think?

  3. Don says:

    Hasso, I really appreciate your news feeds. Grant some does not apply to me but still interesting. The local paper has forgot what they clientele wants. Thanks

  4. Richard Vannice says:

    Good sense, good judgement and common courtesy are one way to help reduce the Covid spread. Masks are not the most comfortable thing to wear and for those with eyeglasses and hearing aids often get them tangled when removing them but even with those inconveniences they can help.

  5. Letha says:

    The very simplest thing to do is wear a mask because it can help us through these rough times. It does not make you less “manly” or take away basic human rights – but, if you care about family, friends or strangers, it is the best 1st defense against the deadly virus (by the way, it is no hoax).

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      A mask is definitely not “the best 1st defense against the deadly virus.”

      The best defense is a vaccine, which may be available in a month or two, assuming Biden doesn’t listen to his “experts” who want to give or sell the vaccine to other countries before every American has the opportunity to get the shot.

      The second best defense is physical distancing.

      The third best defense is washing your hands and keeping surfaces disinfected.

      A mask comes in a distant fourth, or perhaps lower. If worn and maintained properly, it may help if physical distancing is difficult for those who are infected when they cough, sneeze, or sing. A mask isn’t much of a defense for non-infected people. Wear it if it makes you FEEL better. Just don’t expect everyone to FEEL like you do.


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