Bay Area police say they're stepping up coronavirus compliance enforcement

Many law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area said they will be stepping up enforcement during the statewide stay at home order.

Across the Bay Area and state, police are trying to do two things: Get people to stay home, and get non essential businesses to close their doors.    

Concord police say most non-essential businesses are complying to the order and have closed.

But this week, a team of Concord officers will be meeting face to face with businesses who disobeying the order.

"They'll be giving them an order that they're required to shut down and make sure they're fully educated on what the implications could be if they refuse to shut down," said Lt. Mike Kindorf.

The penalty for operating in violation of the order is a potential fine of up to $1,000 and possible arrest.

In Alameda County, a Castro Valley shopping center showed compliance, everything but essential businesses are shut down.

 The Sheriff's Department says it has 12 deputies who have stepped up enforcement and this weekend, one team found a business taking advantage of people.

"We only had one case of some price gouging this weekend where they were trying to sell a case of bottled water for about $20, when a case of water would normally go for just a few dollars," Sgt. Ray Kelly.

A Castro Valley gun dealer was forced to shut its doors to the public this week after violating the order.

A few doors down for the gun shop, a vape store -- not considered an essential business -- is still serving customers.

A worker told KTVU authorities said it was OK, as long as customers were not allowed in.

“Yeah, they gave us the okay as in like, don't be too much of a headache to us and we'll help you out to get the business going,” said AJ with Trophys Smoke & Vape.

Cracking down on individuals is more difficult.

 Law enforcement says it's important for people to enjoy fresh air, but disregarding social distancing outside of families and venturing out and about for no good reason is frowned upon.

For now, authorities are focused on education, and the governor says he hopes that's enough.

"I'm counting on social pressure, not law enforcement to do that," Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Saturday. "But there's always scenarios where there's abuse or ignorance or neglect, and just as our parents did, we'll have to admonish that and we'll use a number of tools that are in our toolkit to do that." 

Greg Liggins is reporter forKTVU.  Email Greg at Greg.Liggins@foxtv.com

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