Meet the new Wilmington Police unit hitting the streets to enforce Gov. Cooper’s Stay at Home order

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new Wilmington Police unit is officially on patrol to make sure everyone is following Governor Roy Cooper’s order to stay at home.

WPD says the goal of the unit is more about education than issuing citations, but if businesses refuse to follow the rules, police will enforce them.

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Under Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home order, and additional restrictions from the county and city, the department has formed a community compliance unit made up of four officers and one supervisor.

“Right now, our job is going to be to try to take the pressure off of some of our patrol units so they can respond to whatever other calls they need to that may come in,” said Corporal Ron Evans with Wilmington Police.

Evans spent the day Tuesday visiting businesses like Target, responding to calls and making sure the county’s restrictions were being followed.

“We are not going to be going out violating folks’ rights,” Evans said. “I cannot stop a car simply because they’re out driving around.”

Evans also responded to some calls about restaurants allowing customers inside. The county’s order only permits delivery, drive-thru and curb-side food service.

“If someone is not in compliance, we’re going to tell them what we need to do to get into compliance,” Evans said. “And if they’re reluctant to do so, then yes we will take some type of law enforcement action to make sure it’s dealt with accordingly, but again, that’s not the first thing we would like to do.”

If you have concerns about a business not following the governor’s order, you can call the WPD non-emergency number, 910-452-6120.

If you have additional questions about the restrictions, you can visit the city’s question and answer portal by clicking here.