Sheriff: Curfew won’t be basis for traffic stops

COVID -19 CDC photo

Anita Miller

Just hours before a “Stay at Home, Work Safe” order went into effect, Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler issue a statement that agreed generally with County Judge Ruben Becerra’s declaration, though he disagreed with part of it. 

Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler

I do not feel COVID-19, as it has currently affected Hays County, should be a basis for a curfew,” Cutler’s statement said. “The virus doesn’t care what time of day it is and is just as concerning at 2 p.m. as it is at 2 a. m.

Effective at 11 p.m. Thursday, March 26, Becerra’s order imposed a curfew between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. on April 10. Though he disagrees with its usefulness, Cutler said his department would not use the restriction in order to target drivers on the road during those hours.

“The Hays County Sheriff’s Office will not be using the curfew as a basis for traffic stops. When Sheriff’s Office deputies see a vehicle on the roads of Hays County, regardless of the time of day, they will assume it is because someone is going to work at an essential business, or doing something else permitted by the judge’s order,” the statement said. 

“If there is independent reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop a driver or pedestrian, at any hour of the day, then my deputies will continue to do their jobs, as they always do. I encourage you to contact the sheriff’s office to request assistance, regardless of the time of day or night without fear of reprisal. 

Cutler had this to say about the general gist of the order:

A “Stay at Home, Work Safe” order, in my view, is an around-the-clock effort by this community to curb the impact of COVID-19. The challenges we face are real, the virus and the steps needed to contain it depends on all of us. I ask the citizens for voluntary compliance to this order. If you don’t have to leave your home, please stay home. My office and I are here to stand with you. Working together, Hays County will remain strong.”

To read Becerra’s order in entirety, go to haysinformed.com

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