Chemung County Sheriffs Office not enforcing social gathering limits

Local News

CHEMUNG COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) — The Chemung County Sheriffs Office announced on Monday, they will not be enforcing the governors social gathering limit.

“The governor’s suggesting that we go to particular homes, knock on the door and count on in the table of how many people are there,” said Chemung County Sheriff, Bill Schrom. “We count 11 instead of 10, and grandma happens to be number 11. Are we going to be forcing her out of that home? Who’s going to take that action? I think it’s just ridiculous. You know to to have that order in the manner that it’s written in, it certainly doesn’t make sense and it’s certainly something that’s not reasonable and quite frankly not a law enforcement task.”

In response to numerous inquiries about whether or not the Chemung County Sheriff’s
Office will be enforcing holiday gatherings at private residences, the answer is no. The
Executive Order, which purports to ban residential gatherings of more than 10 people, does not
establish anything for local law enforcement to enforce criminally. The Legislature defines
criminal conduct, not the Governor. Law enforcement officers enforce criminal statutes, not
Executive diktats.

As your elected Sheriff, I will not ask the men and women of this agency to enforce an
Executive Order that raises serious Constitutional questions. Citizens have a right to privacy
within their homes as well as the protection from warrantless searches. Regardless of this
Executive Order, the Sheriff’s Office, like most law enforcement agencies, have limited
resources to dedicate to such an Order to go door-to-door to ensure compliance. Simply put, it’s
just not going to happen.

The Sheriff’s Office is not encouraging people to have large gatherings in their homes,
but would ask that you weigh the risk factors, protect the vulnerable, and enjoy your families and
your great gathering traditions only in ways that are safe, until we can get back to normal. Please
continue to practice mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent sanitizing. Each of us knows
the risks associated with this pandemic and must continue to work together to reduce these risks.

If you choose to host a family/holiday gathering, please do so safely and responsibly.
From all of us at the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office we wish you and your family a
safe and joyous holiday season!

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