Bethlehem Press

Monday, March 30, 2020

Non-life sustaining businesses encouraged to close doors

Thursday, March 26, 2020 by The Press in Police Log

Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), issued the following statement March 22 on the agency’s enforcement of Governor Tom Wolf’s order closing physical locations of non-life-sustaining businesses:

“The priority of the Pennsylvania State Police is protecting lives and maintaining order in the commonwealth. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, troopers and liquor control enforcement officers are prepared to ensure compliance with Governor Wolf’s order.

“Private businesses, organizations, and other noncompliant entities face possible criminal penalties under the Administrative Code of 1929, 71 P.S. § 1409 and/or the Pennsylvania Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955, 35 P.S. § 521.20(a). Both violations are summary offenses punishable by fines and even jail time. Violators may also be subject to additional administrative penalties under certain circumstances.

“We believe most Pennsylvanians want to act responsibly and do their part to help slow the spread of this deadly virus. Troopers and liquor control officers will make every effort to achieve voluntary compliance by educating business owners and using discretion when appropriate. But our message is clear: COVID-19 is a serious health and public safety risk that requires an extraordinary response from law enforcement and the public. I urge everyone to stay home, stay calm, and stay safe.”

The governor has directed the following state agencies and local officials to enforce the closure orders to the full extent of the law:

• Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

• Department of Health

• Department of Agriculture

• Pennsylvania State Police

• Local officials, using their resources to enforce closure orders within their jurisdictions

The Wolf administration has provided all local law enforcement with enforcement guidance that mirrors PSP’s.

To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest PSP station. Please do not call 911 to file reports.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.