Enforcing Executive Orders & Taking a Stand
It has come to our attention that despite the continued outreach and education by and from the Town of New Castle, Westchester County and New York State, there are some people who continue to ignore social distancing guidelines and willfully disregard the protocols intended to protect the public health.
We will not tolerate these selfish actions. Whether you are a New Castle resident, a visitor from a neighboring community, or a student in the Chappaqua Central School District, should you flout the very rules that are intended to keep us all safe, the consequences may be quite severe. Know that we have reached out to and spoken with the Governor’s Office and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for guidance on how to best enforce social distancing orders whether through civil sanctions and fines or criminal prosecutions.
Lest it be lost on anyone, your 16-year-old child does not dictate to you that he or she is going to hang out with friends. When your son or daughter is home from college living under your roof, it is your roost to rule. If you just returned from states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona or Texas, do not have the arrogance to believe you do not need to self-quarantine for 14 days. Instead, know that you are potentially and gravely hurting this community and those you presumably love if you do not. Yes, you can have gatherings consistent with the Executive Orders, but whether you are 18 or 81, be neither complicit nor the problem itself. Do not throw parties and forget the social distancing and mask wearing that has kept us safe. Ignorance is not bliss. In fact, getting sick from or passing on COVID-19 is anything but that.
Show respect to your neighbors, friends, family members and strangers – such as those who were self-quarantined despite adhering to the law and best practices. Take responsibility so our businesses can rebound and thrive. We must control the outbreak, or we will regress and take two steps back.
Know that your Town Board and Police Department remain deeply engaged in the efforts led by the New York State Department of Health to protect you from this dangerous and potentially deadly communicable disease. While we may be limited in our enforcement capabilities based on the governing laws, it is our hope that we need not pursue the type of recourse that those who are summoned or charged will undoubtedly regret.
With compassion for one another and doing our part, together we will see this through – just as we have over these past uncertain and frightening months.
Statement from New Castle Police Chief Carroll
The New Castle Police Department, like every other police department in Westchester County and across the state, hoped that most persons and businesses would voluntarily comply with the Governor’s COVID-19 related Executive Orders. We have made a concerted effort to educate and warn violators that non-compliance could result in a criminal or civil charge. While the overwhelming majority of residents are compliant, we are increasing our social distancing enforcement based on recent activity in Town. I have added additional officers strictly for this purpose. If we see a social distancing violation or an actionable one is reported to us, we will investigate and address it. Be advised from the delivery of this NiXLE until the Governor’s Orders change, you can be charged with the following:
- Violation of Health Law (PBH § 12-B) – criminal misdemeanor; up to $10,000 for a first-time violation and/or up to one-year imprisonment.
- Violation of Health Law (PBH § 12) – civil violation; up to $2,000 for a first-time violation and $5,000 for repeat violations.
- 10 NYCRR 66-3.2 Section 66-3.2. – civil violation; maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation.
- Disorderly Conduct, Penal Law § 240.20 (6) – criminal violation; up to a $250 fine and fifteen days in jail.
If you observe a social distancing violation or any other violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders, please call (914) 238-4422.