Watch CBS News

Some Southern California Sheriffs Pushing Back Against Enforcing Coronavirus Health Order

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Some Southern California sheriff's departments are pushing back against enforcing new stay-at-home orders that are set to take effect on Sunday night, while others are focusing their messaging, instead, on helping residents stay educated about the transmission of the virus.

Riverside County

Among those speaking out against the order, which will restrict several non-essential businesses and activities for the next three weeks, is Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco who accused California Gov. Gavin Newsom of having a "dictatorial attitude" regarding coronavirus protocols.

Bianco's criticisms were shared in a YouTube video on Friday.

Message from Sheriff Bianco 12-04-20 by Riverside County Sheriff's Department on YouTube

"While the Governor's Office and the state has threatened action against violators, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department will not be blackmailed, bullied or used as muscle against Riverside County residents in the enforcement of the Governor's orders," Bianco said.

Instead of enforcing the stay-at-home order, Bianco said he's depending on county residents to act according to their own judgments to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"The Sheriff's Department is asking and expecting Riverside County residents to act responsibly and do what they can to protect themselves and their family, from contracting the virus," he said.

Bianco also accused Newsom of being "extremely hypocritical."

"It wasn't that long ago that our same governor loudly and publicly argued how wrong it was for the president of the United States to withhold federal funding from states not complying with federal laws," Bianco said. "The dictatorial attitude toward California residents while dining in luxury, traveling, keeping his business open and sending his kids to in-person private schools is very telling about his attitude toward California residents, his feelings about the virus, and it is extremely hypocritical."

Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his department will focus on "education and voluntary compliance" of the health order, as they've done since March when the pandemic began.

Villanueva said the LASD will be conduct enforcement of rules on "super-spreader events."

Orange County

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes released a statement saying they will not respond to "calls for service to enforce compliance with face coverings, social gatherings or stay-at-home orders only."

The full statement can be read here.

Ventura County

Ventura County indicated it would rely on residents' voluntary compliance of the stay-at-home order.

San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County indicated it would rely on residents' voluntary compliance of the stay-at-home order.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.