Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder has ordered local law enforcement to take “appropriate enforcement action” to keep residents from breaking the stay-at-home order.
This is Langfelder’s third executive order during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor said law enforcement action can take a number of forms, and it’s all aimed at dissuading people from gathering in groups of more than 10.
“They would have the authority to fine an individual and then also could issue an ordinance to appear before a hearing process,” Langfelder said.
Springfield police are now authorized to issue fines up to $500, and can even compel rulebreakers to appear before a special hearing panel.
Like many Illinois communities, Springfield residents have been asked to only leave home for essential needs, like grocery shopping. People can still be outside alone or with immediate family members as long as they practice social distancing.
Langfelder said although Springfielders have largely been following those rules, the city’s police force will help ensure everyone complies.
“Some of us will respond to, you know, just being asked to comply,” Langfelder said. “Others, you know, some might want the carrot, some might want the stick.”